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Training for Mumbai University officials by pro-RSS body called off midway

Training for Mumbai University officials by pro-RSS body called off midway

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MUMBAI: A two-day residential workshop organised by Mumbai University in collaboration with Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) – an RSS-affiliated think tank – was called off midway on Saturday after Yuva Sena members from the senate and NSUI (Congress’ student body) strongly opposed the move. The students’ organisations have sought vice-chancellor Suhas Pednekar’s resignation for allowing such a body, with no expertise in education laws and administrative work, to conduct the camp.

The workshop was expected to train and guide university officials in administrative work. It was expected to train them in writing skills, official communication, university laws and regulations, RTIs, preparing answers for assembly Q&A session, decision-making and leadership skills etc.

The camp was organised at RMP’s campus in Uttan in Bhayander for 30 university officers at assistant registrar or equivalent level. After the first session on Saturday – at 11.30am – the university officials were told the rest of the programme had been called off due to technical reasons and they were asked to go home. “There was opposition from senate members, but we do not know why it was cancelled midway,” said an officer.

Congress leader Rajeev Satav brought the matter to the notice of higher and technical education minister Uday Samant. Satav tweeted against misuse of public funds to benefit an RSS-affiliated body in the name of training, said a statement released by NSUI. A letter was sent to Samant’s office by university authorities informing him about cancellation.

NSUI demanded an inquiry into the matter as well as Pednekar’s resignation. “It is true RSS-affiliated organisations and members have been appointed in universities during the BJP government. We will keep fighting against saffronisation of the university,” said NSUI national secretary Nikhil Kamble.

Pradeep Sawant, senate member from Yuva Sena, also opposed the move and questioned how the organisation is qualified to train university officials in administrative work. “We have an auditorium in Kalina, there was no need to spend money and take the officers to Uttan. Also, there was no logic in training our officers under a politically-affiliated body,” said Sawant, adding they have also demanded the VC’s resignation.

A university official said the decision to train officers at RMP was taken earlier, though they did not specify when. “After adjusting their schedule and availability, the dates were finalised. It was, however, called off due to technical reasons,” said the official, without specifying why the organisation was selected for the training camp.

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