Business Standard

Mumbai varsity gets VC after six months


IANS Mumbai
The University of Mumbai got a new Vice Chancellor on Friday when Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao announced the appointment of Suhas Raghunath Pednekar, Principal of Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College, to the post which had been vacant for six months.
The Governor handed over the letter of appointment for a five-year term to Pednekar at Raj Bhavan, ending the uncertainties and speculation over the vacant post.
He succeeds Sanjay Deshmukh, who was sacked on October 24, 2017 for creating a mess in examination results which left the government, the academic community and students fuming.
Indicating that he was serious about getting the country's premier university back on track, Pednekar said he was taking change "without any celebrations" and requested all well-wishers not to bring flowers or bouquets.
"I want to get down to work immediately without celebrations or fanfare... However, if there are any suggestions, they are most welcome," he commented to a private Marathi TV channel.
"I believe in direct action without any pressures... I have many challenges before me. The first priority it to ensure the timely schedule of the university examinations, which is a major task," Pednekar said.
Expressing the hope that he would be able to work smoothly with everyone, he said the 160-year-old university has "a great tradition" and it would be his responsibility to take it further. He urged everyone to "cooperate by keeping aside differences".
With a doctorate in Green Chemistry from the Stevens Institute of Technology in the US, Pednekar has a rich experience of nearly three decades as a chemistry teacher, professor, researcher, guide and principal.
In 2012, he was conferred the Best Teacher Award of the Maharashtra government and Tata Chemicals Ltd awarded him the Best Chemistry Teacher honour.
Besides having vast administrative experiences at various levels in the higher education set-up, Pednekar is connected with major organisations like Indian Science Congress and Indian Chemical Society.
The much-anticipated appointment comes six months after the former incumbent was removed from the post for the chaos in the declaration of examination results which severely dented the university's global image, reputation and credibility, besides hitting the careers of students.
Pednekar took charge from Devanand Shinde, the Vice Chancellor of Shivaji University Kolhapur, who was entrusted the additional charge of the University of Mumbai.

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 7:50 PM IST

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