Mumbai University’s newly appointed Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Dr Sanjay Deshmukh on Wednesday met MNS chief Raj Thackeray at the latter’s residence at Shivaji Park in Dadar. This despite Education Minister Vinod Tawde saying that it is not the V-C’s business to meet bureaucrats, ministers and politicians.
According to sources, the V-C has started meeting personalities and experts from various fields to understand their point of view and take suggestions for improving the Mumbai University. After Raj Thackeray, Deshmukh said he would also meet Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Deshmukh said that his meeting with Raj Thackeray was “not political”. “I have been meeting personalities in various fields to seek inputs on improving the quality of the university. I have been meeting scientists and experts. I even have a plan to meet Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray,” he said.
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At the meeting, which started at 11.15 am and went on for nearly 40 minutes, Deshmukh and Thackeray discussed issues pertaining to the Mumbai University. According to sources, Thackeray told Deshmukh that there is an urgent need to restore the sanctity of the prestigious university and its legacy which is under a serious threat due to failure of the univarsity administration at many levels.
On July 6, in a meeting with vice chancellors of all the state universities, Education Minister Tawde had asked them to appoint a nodal officer to look after work between the university and the state government departments. According to Tawde, vice chancellors should concentrate on academic work.
“It was not a political meet. The meeting is a very positive gesture from the new V-C who claims that he wants to involve experts and dignitaries to contribute to the improvement of the university,” said Sudhakar Tamboli, MU senate member from MNS.
Tamboli added, “Raj Thackeray told the V-C that due to a series of goof-ups and administrative failures, MU has been in news for all the wrong reasons for several years now. He even suggested that the V-C must hold dialogues with academic and administrative experts and deans of MU on a regular basis and take measures to rectify the problems the varsity is grappling with for years.”
Apart from Tamboli, Thackeray’s wife Sharmila, son Amit and Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena president Aditya Shirodkar were present during the meeting.