As the University of Mumbai is surrounded with problems and issues, Dilip Karande, the senior-most senate member of the varsity shares his views and thoughts with Yatin Ingle
It’s said that few things in this world remain constant; likewise even few posts in the world stay constant. In the year 1987, University of Mumbai witnessed its first ever elections of its senate members which consisted of various divisions like the vice-chancellor’s nominees, chancellor’s nominees amongst which the most important and precious was the graduates constituency which consisted of 20 contestants. As the elections began, a new education –cum- political had been arisen by then, and the first ever candidate to win with a large number of votes was Dilip Karande, and since then he has been following the sign of victory till now. Since 1987, Karande has continued the winning strike for 5 senate elections and is the only senior senator of the varsity to contribute 23 years of his life to the chair and for the working of students and Mumbai University.
From his college days, Karande worked with Shiv Sena’s Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Sena (BVS) and worked for the betterment of the students and later was given the chair of the Chief coordinator of BVS. After college, Karande worked with the Bank Of India and soon he was appointed as the secretary of ‘Lokadhikar Samiti’, secretary of ‘Credit Society’ and soon was elected as the managing committee member of the Mumbai Cricket Association; but alongside focused on his works for the varsity and the students.
Having an experience of working under 9 Vice-Chancellors of Mumbai University, Karande has shared the senate house with big politicians and personalities like former chief minister of Maharashtra Manohar Joshi, Former home minister of Maharashtra Gajanan Kirtikar, Dr Balkrishna Doshi, Suhas Samant, Leelabhai Dhake and many of the others. Having a wide knowledge and information of Mumbai University’s working and its years from the rise and fall of the varsity, its seniormost senate member shares his journey and experiences with Mumbai University.
What pulled you towards working for the students and to contest the first ever senate elections of Mumbai University?
Its actually a funny part that brought gave me an idea about the how to work for the students problems and how to bring results in a better way for them; I had been playing cricket with my friends during my school days and beside to our playground a politician was giving a speech, so I along with my friends thought about going to the pandal and listen to the speech and eager to listen who the politician was and when we saw it, he was none other than the Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray who was asking about the various questions and asked people to submit written question to him s he can answer it precisely. Being school students, I and my friends wrote “is there anything you have which you can contribute towards the students and their problems”, as the sena chief read it, he called me to his office and then I was explained about Sena’s Students wing ‘Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Sena’ (BVS) and accordingly I started working for it. As years passed I gave in my blood and sweat for the students working and was soon appointed as the chief coordinator of the BVS. In 1987, when the senate elections were introduced I had an idea that if I enter into it, I will be able to work more for the students and solve there problems with the varsity authorities and then contested the elections with the support of the sena Chief and BVS.
As you have been with Mumbai University since the last 23 years, what changes have been brought up in various aspects and fields of the varsity?
Till the year 1994, Mumbai University used to work as an autonomous body and all the work was undertaken by the varsity authorities itself which made it easy for the management and administrative works of the varsity; all the documents like the mark sheets and the convocations were hand written with brilliant calligraphy artists and the work of the administration was quick and soon. But once the Maharashtra Universities Act was introduced in the year 1994, it brought along the sloppy works of the higher authorities as all went along with the supervision of the government and the Vice – Chancellor. Talking about the administrative works of the varsity, it has changed as the years passed, but the change is in the negative aspect of Mumbai University. The administration work is loosing its capability and the type of work it used to have in the earlier days. With the rise in colleges, the strength of the student’s population has increased with workload upon the varsity’s administration which has largely failed in its work and it’s only due to less supervision by the head of the Institute who is the Vice-Chancellor. There have been less administrative employees who carry out large documentation works of lakhs of students which results in delay in results.
What is the main reason for the sloppy administration of Mumbai University?
The main reason is none other than the supervisors and the heads of the varsity. During the tenure of former Vice – Chancellor (VC) Dr. Vijay Khole, he had advertised vacancies of 461 seats in various departments of the varsity but interview were not taken even after receiving the required documentations from the applicants and in the wait, Vijay Khole had completed his term. Soon it was Dr Rajan Welukar who was appointed as the VC but it has been noticed that he has been stuck with his busy solving his own issues than to correct the administrative work of the varsity. Yet there are no permanent security guards of MU and still the guards are waiting for their jobs to get a certificate of permanency. Now, MU prints its mark sheets and convocations but the fact is still they don’t have a proper machine for the holograms and yet suffering troubles in the printing processes. There is no modernization in MU.
What is your view upon the recent issues of hall – tickets, re – shuffle of exam centers and the question paper leaks?
It is ridiculous on the part of the varsity, such a great education institute of the country and one of the best education campuses in the world has been suffering from issues like these. It is the duty of the Vice – Chancellor , the Board of college and University Development and the registrar to keep a track upon such issues and solve them but none of the initiatives have been brought out by them.
What was the main issue which led to the suspension of you along with the rest six senator members for the first time in the history of MU?
We seven of the Yuva Sena senators had asked the VC for the reasons for the issues happening in the Third Year Bachelor of Commerce (TYBCOM) examinations. The VC kept on changing the topic and avoided to answer, was as we seven of us kept on asking the question and we had no idea that just for asking a question we would be suspended from the senate house. We are brought up by the graduate students and hold the graduate students constituency so we have to ask and have proper answer for the questions regarding the students but what we got was suspension.
It’s said that the VC is meeting politicians after the issues have surrounded him and do you think that the VC should resign or he should hold back the seat?
Now the scenario seems like the Rajabhai tower of MU which is the symbol of pride and landmark of MU is bending towards the adjoining building of the Mantralaya and of course the VC should resign. Talks are going along with the Chancellor of MU K. Shankarnarayan and with the VC’s irresponsible work which has put not only the varsity in trouble but also the students who make the an education institute, he should resign.