Monday, May 22, 2017


Mumbai Mirror: Mumbai: Monday, May 22, 2017.
Staff from Dombivali College allege inaction, despite a fact finding committee submitting its report in 2015 highlighting irregularities in college's trust and finances.
An RTI report filed by Rajarshee Shahu Maharaj Karmachari Sanghatana has revealed that the management of KV Pendharkar College, Dombivali, failed to act on the recommendations of fact finding committee that was appointed by Mumbai University in 2015. In its report dated March 23, 2015, the committee that was constituted after a discussion was held in a Senate meeting, had asked the college authorities to appoint an administrator on its board. But, the RTI inquiry has found that the college administration had been sitting on it since two years.In 2015, 35 members of the Sanghatana, who are also former employees, which include non-teaching staff of the Dombivali college, had complained against the college and its chairperson for administrative issues and irregularities in the management. They also went on a 45-day hunger strike in March.
They have now approached the higher education minister and demanded that the college's University affiliation be withdrawn.
Prabhakar Desai, chairperson of the trust which runs the college has however challenged the fact finding report's authority and said that only the charity commissioner has power to challenge or verify his credentials as a chairperson of the trust and the case is already going on before it. Desai also pointed out that Pendarkar College received `A Grade' by University of Mumbai last year and that the allegations against the college and him are baseless.
Dilip Medhe, president of the Sanghatana told Mumbai Mirror, "The fact finding report was discussed before the Board of College and University Development meeting on 23rd June 2015.However, the university is using a technical reason that the College has filed a Writ petition in the Bombay High Court as an excuse to not act on this report. So now we have demanded that a committee should be constituted to look into the matter which includes representatives of charity commissioner and University."
The committee's key findings included:
  • Prabhakar Desai who claims to be the chairperson of the college trust (Dombivali Shikshan Prasarak Mandal), that runs the college, failed to furnish any proof showing he was authorised to be the sole representative of the management.
  • The college has been granted permanent affiliation, but no `academic audit' has been done by the University.
  • It is necessary to appoint an administrator on the college.
  • Legal validity of Chairman Prabhakar Desai's post, and existence of the public trust should be confirmed by the University from the regional charity commissioner's office.
  • After going through the income-expenditure statement it appears that the college has charged excess fees.
  • The college is running un-aided courses using staff from aided sections against a Director of Higher Education circular.
Desai, has refuted all these findings, "I did not get the copy of the same report from University when I asked for it under RTI," he said. He also said that, "If the state government and the University want to cancel the affiliation we have to shut down the college.They should think about the future of 5,000 plus students."
Desai added that the cases are pending before the Bombay High Court and the charity commissioner.
M. A Khan, registrar of Mumbai University confirmed that the fact finding committee report was discussed in the meeting of Board of Colleges and University Development. Khan said, "We have sent the file for legal opinion for further action. We are awaiting the response from legal team."