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Pune: After protests against decision to merge Ranade Institute with SPPU’s Media Studies dept, Uday Samant promises to intervene

Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant to visit institute in Pune on Saturday.

Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant. (Photo Source: Twitter/@samant_uday)

The protests from alumni including prominent journalists, students and social activists over the decision of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) — to merge the acclaimed Ranade Institute of Communication and Journalism with the Department of Media and Communication Studies on the university campus — has now caught the attention of state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, who has promised to intervene in the matter. After hearing representations from student unions on the matter, the minister said he will visit the Ranade Institute on August 14.

Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Nanded, Samant said the institute has a long and prestigious history. “If there is any political motive behind it (the decision on the merger), it will be quashed,” he said.

Established in 1964, the Ranade Institute has been the alma mater of several top journalists and civil activists. The institute is housed in a British-era building dating back to 1910 near Fergusson College.

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For the last two days, alumni of the institute have met both university officials as well as Samant, demanding that the institute not be merged with the Department of Media and Communication Studies as this will put several students at a disadvantage. Alumni and activists claim the merger will affect fees and social structure of students, among other things.

Meanwhile, SPPU officials have maintained that the proposed merger is not because of any political reasons but simply for the convenience of administrating all media-related courses from the same premises on university campus. University officials have said that diploma courses will continue to be held at Ranade Institute.

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First published on: 12-08-2021 at 10:41:21 pm
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