Race to Mumbai College VC chair in ultimate lap; 5 names given to governor

MUMBAI: Names of five shortlisted aspirants for the post of vice-chancellor (VC) of were submitted to governor Vidyasagar Rao on Saturday by a search committee. A source said pro-vice-chancellor of Pramod Yeole and Ramnarain principal are among the five finalists.

Yeole is said to have streamlined Nagpur University’s exam system, which was in a mess. He has brought in several online reforms at the institution, an official said. “His candidature could help Mumbai University, which is facing a similar challenge. He is also closer to the power centre,” said a source from the university.

Pednekar, on the other hand, is a senior principal, who has first-hand experience of the university system. “His understanding of the complexities involved in university’s exam system and other processes would be an advantage,” said another official.

The three-member search committee, headed by renowned scientist K Kasturirangan, interviewed 32 candidates over Friday and Saturday, of which five were selected. Two candidates did not turn up for the interview. The 34 candidates were shortlisted from 102 aspirants during a two-month-long process. The final five will be interviewed by the Governor in the next few days.

The other two members of the committee are Bhushan Gagrani, vice-chairman of Cidco and Shyam Lal Soni, director, NIT Uttarakhand. Among the 32 interviewed by the committee were B A Chopade, VC, Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU); V S Sapkal, former VC, Nagpur University; Rajpal Hande, Mithibai College principal; Vivek Deolankar, HOD, department of commerce, MU; Vibha Surana, HOD, department of German, MU; Dilip Patil, director, Centre for Adult Education, MU; Abhay Pethe, Mumbai School of Economics; and Bandu Meshram, professor, VJTI.

The biggest challenge for the new VC will be to announce the results of the ongoing exams on time and to ensure post-graduate admissions are not delayed for another year. Also on the to-do list will be getting NAAC accreditation, which expired last April and improving the university’s rank in national and international ranking system, said a university official. The posts of pro-vice-chancellor, registrar, and examination controller also needs to be filled.

Most senior officials in the university are currently holding temporary posts. Shivaji University’s vice-chancellor Devanand Shinde was given additional charge, after former VC Sanjay Deshmukh was sacked last October.

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