Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), in its history of 91 years, has seen four Vice Chancellors resigning midway, albeit, for scandalous reasons. Mass copying mess, date of birth bungle, Kohchade scam, no-trust tirade were the reasons that led to downfall of four VCs and thus left behind a trail of stigma, slur, scar and a lost face for RTMNU, once a prestigious institute.
MASS COPYING MESS:
Massive mass copying raised its ugly head during tenure of Dr V B Kolte forcing conduction of re-examinations in larger scale. However, after the results were out, Dr Kolte was also out. Most unfortunate aspect of this entire episode was that Dr Kolte was offered second term for Vice Chancellor’s office but he left the post midway owing to mass copying mess.
DATE OF BIRTH BUNGLE:
The date of birth itself proved to be date of doomed destiny for Dr M G Bokre as far as Vice Chancellor’s post was concerned. His date of birth was shown wrong. Interestingly, those people who prepared Dr Bokre’s biodata themselves revolted against him and bayed for his blood. Dr Bokre was also charged with neglecting administrative functions and leaving crucial matters in the hands of incompetent sub-ordinates.
Nagpur University, unfortunately, was witness to the most scandalous and stigmatic episode in its history. A dubious history got created during the rule of Dr Bhalchandra Chopne. The Kohchade scam. Massive fake mark list and revaluation scam got exposed in Nagpur University after the arrest of the then Assistant Registrar Yadavrao Kohchade. Kohchade was arrested by the ACB from a Sitabuldi hotel when he offered bribe to a PSI to hush up investigations in a case pertaining to the issue of fake marklists. Kohchade’s interrogation following his arrest, revealed names of those involved in the fake mark lists and revaluation scam. Kohchade was accused of increasing marks of Engineering students, having a peg or two in office, hiding question papers in his chamber and other serious charges. The matter is still in court. However, the then Vice Chancellor Dr Chopne did not escape the blame of Kohchade scam and was forced to resign.
The past nine months saw several controversies embroiling RTMNU and ultimately took its toll in the shape of Dr Vilas Sapkal’s resignation from the Vice Chancellor’s post. The RTMNU had turned a battlefield of sorts and face-off between Dr Sapkal and various authorities like Management Council, Vidvat Parishad (Academic Council) and Senate became a regular feature.
The main issues that confronted the RTMNU and sparked bitter war of words between the former Vice Chancellor and members of Councils and Senate include: 250 colleges having no regular teachers and subsequently blacklisting and barring them from First Year admissions by RTMNU but only after a petition in this respect was filed in the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. The issue of 250 colleges on dozens of times triggered wordy wars in meetings of Management Council, Academic Council and Senate and led to adjournments of the said meetings on several occasions and thus derailed smooth functioning of RTMNU affairs.
The issue of colleges having less than 50 per cent admissions also dominated for months together. The RTMNU and the colleges were at loggerheads over the issue and every other meeting witnessed uproar with both sides blaming each other of not following the laid down rules and regulations.
The Convocation Ceremony issue turned unceremonious. The umpteen controversies hitting RTMNU saw President of India Pranab Mukherjee cancelling his visit at the last minute. The President was invited as chief guest of the Convocation Ceremony scheduled to be held on November 16, 2013 but the last minute cancellation of visit left RTMNU, the then Vice Chancellor Dr Sapkal and the members of Councils, Senate and other concerned officials embarrassed and ashamed. The image of RTMNU also took a severe beating. Thereafter, the issue of Convocation Ceremony was used by Dr Sapkal and members to settle scores against each other in the form of nasty statements to media.
During Dr Vilas Sapkal’s tenure, students of Engineering, BEd, BCA and other courses laid siege of RTMNU on dozens of times by various ways and means like morchas, agitations etc. Violence, damaging of properties, rampage and ruckus, dharnas, slogan shouting became a daily affair and subsequently, the University was turned into a fortress with the presence of large number of policemen. Lathi charge, arrests of students made frequent headlines.
Nagging and nasty revaluation problem, late declaration of results became warring points between the students and RTMNU. Students resorted to hunger strikes, dharnas, agitations to meet their various demands related to revaluation, results but till today the problem has not been hammered out.
40 VICE CHANCELLORS TILL NOW:
The Nagpur University has seen 40 Vice Chancellors till today in its history of 91 years. 10 Divisional Commissioners also held the additional charge as Acting Vice Chancellors for one reason or the other. The first Vice Chancellor was Sir Bipin Krishna Bose when Nagpur University was established in 1923. He served five years as VC.
CHANGE IN LAWS:
From 1929 to 1966, the term of Vice Chancellors was of part-time nature. During this period, Vice Chancellors used to be nominated. In 1965, a change took place in Nagpur University’s laws and the tenure of VCs was subsequently made of three years. Thereafter, laws were amended in 1974 and 1994. From 1994 till today, the term of VCs is of five years.
15 ACTING VICE CHANCELLORS:
In Nagpur University’s history, 15 Acting Chancellors were made for different reasons. These include Divan Bahadur V M Kelkar, Col K V Kukde, Principal M M Lanjewar, Jal P Gimi, Haribhau P Kedar along with Divisional Commissioners D B Kapur, K Shivram Krishnan, A R Patil, Girish Gokhale, G R Bedge, J S Sahariya, Dr Shileshkumar Sharma, Anand Limaye, B V Gopal Reddy and Anoop Kumar.