University of Mumbai Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh has proceeded on leave following an unprecedented delay in declaration of final year results that led to the demand of his resignation. Meanwhile, Chancellor and Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has appointed Devanand Shinde, the V-C of Shivaji University, as the acting V-C of MU. Dhiren Patel, director of Veermatsa Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), has been appointed as the acting pro V-C — the post had been vacant since July 2015.
Sources said Deshmukh submitted an application for leave to the governor citing personal reasons. He had been facing flak from students, teachers, as well as political parties for his decision to introduce the onscreen assessment system in a hurry. Student parties the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Yuva Sena had protested against the delay and sought his resignation.
Demands for Deshmukh’s resignation had gathered steam over the past few weeks with opposition parties, the Congress and the NCP, raising the issue in the ongoing monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly.
The delay of almost two months in the declaration of results has affected over 4.5 lakh students.
The governor had on July 4 asked the MU administration to declare the results by July 31. However, over two lakh answersheets are yet to be assessed. Of the 477 examinations conducted by the university this year, results of around 200 remain undeclared.
Government officials had earlier told The Indian Express that since most senior administrative positions of the university were vacant, it was difficult to ask Deshmukh to step down. However, Governor Rao Wednesday appointed Patel as the acting pro-V-C, who took charge immediately. Later in the day, Shinde was asked to take the additional charge of MU, apart from Shivaji University.
“The order came at noon and I have already taken charge at MU,” Patel told The Indian Express adding that he started work immediately after receiving the orders. Patel’s expertise in computer engineering and cyber security may come to the university’s rescue as it is still struggling with technical problems in the new assessment system.
Following the development, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray tweeted that the V-C had been sent on a forced leave and ad hoc V-C and pro-VC appointed. “But the chaos remains. The cabinet minister must come clean on this chaos,” he tweeted.