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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Mumbai University Senate member moves HC against Patkar-Varde college starting satellite centre

This move to accept the proposal without abiding by the timeline and criteria prescribed by the department in its September 18 notification is gross violation of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act (MPUA), 2016, he added.

Written by Abha Goradia | Mumbai | Updated: October 8, 2020 9:27:53 am
Mumbai university, Mumbai university senate member, bombay hc, Patkar-Varde college, Patkar-Varde college satellite Centre, indian express newsThe petition has been filed against Additional Chief Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Rajiv Jalota, Pednekar and Patkar-Varde College among others.

University of Mumbai (MU) Senate member Mandar Sawantdesai has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court over alleged bypassing of rules in awarding approval to Goregaon-based Patkar-Varde college to start a satellite centre in Sindhudurg district.

The plea, which was filed on October 5, was moved days after Sawantdesai wrote to the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari – the Chancellor of universities – and MU Vice-Chancellor Dr Suhas Pednekar over the issue.

The petition has been filed against Additional Chief Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Rajiv Jalota, Pednekar and Patkar-Varde College among others.

In his petition, Sawantdesai has stated that barely a week after the department of higher and technical education prescribed rules for procedures and criteria for approval of new satellite centres from the academic year 2021-22, the department on September 25 approved Patkar-Varde college’s proposal to start a satellite centre at Kudal in Sindhudurg from the current academic year itself.

This move to accept the proposal without abiding by the timeline and criteria prescribed by the department in its September 18 notification is gross violation of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act (MPUA), 2016, he added.

To ensure the spread of higher education in rural and tribal regions, the state government had recently allowed reputed urban higher education institutions and colleges to start “satellite” centres in such areas. For starting such centres from the academic year 2021-22, applications were invited by September 30, following which they are to be scrutinised by the board of deans of the concerned university.

Colleges or institutions are required to submit the required documents by October 15 every year to the respective V-C for starting a satellite centre the next year. A detailed timeline has been notified for the procedure.

Sawantdesai has contested the approval given to Patkar-Varde college to start two courses on a pilot basis in Pinguli village without allegedly adhering to these rules.

When contacted, Sawantdesai said that as per rules, neither the department nor MU had published any advertisement inviting applications for starting the satellite centre on a pilot basis.

“As per Section 109(4)(d) of MPUA, the government may grant permissions only to such institutes as it may consider fit and proper in its absolute discretion on or before June 15. However, in exceptional cases and for reasons to be recorded in writing, any application not recommended by university may be approved by the state government. Has the government recorded any such reasons while giving approval to the pilot project to the college?” he asked.

MU V-C and Higher Education Minister Uday Samant could not be contacted for a comment.

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