In a major setback to Mumbai University vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar, a few months before his retirement, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has directed him to abstain from attending the office and discharging his duties as the VC with immediate effect.
“Pro Vice Chancellor of the University Prof Naresh Chandra has been asked to act as the officiating vice-chancellor of the University until further orders,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
The Governor, who is the Chancellor of Universities in the state, has taken the decision in the backdrop of orders passed by the Bombay High Court from time to time while hearing the petitions challenging Welukar’s essential eligibility qualification and considering the fact that the court has directed a Search Committee to reconsider the question of the eligibility of Welukar for the post of Vice Chancellor, the spokesperson said.
The requirement for having minimum five research publications after PhD in international peer reviewed journals which should be reference for studies in higher education is one of the criteria for being shortlisted for the post of VC. This was the subject matter of the PILs challenging Welukar’s appointment.
Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray welcomed the decision to remove Welukar.
“So finally the Governor asks MU VC to step aside. This is a big relief to students. Nothing personal, but we’ve countered him for bad administration,” he tweeted.
“Yuva Sena has constantly tackled the outgoing VC’s bad admin and corruption, giving justice to students and staff against gross misrule,” he said.
“I remember those times when the then Governor Sankarnaryanan ji had to personally intervened on my request to set things right, two years ago,” he said.