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Over 1,800 Indian students were granted admission in various professional courses during the period from 2002 to 2007 for the seats reserved for Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) by then director of International Students Centre (ISC) of University of Pune, Shantishree Pandit.
This was revealed by Sunanda Pawar enquiry committee formed by the then UoP vice chancellor Narendra Jadhav. Pawar was a member of the management council of UoP. The former senate member, Atul Bagul, had sought information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Initially, Bagul was denied information. But later, state information commissioner Vijay Kuvalekar directed the UoP to furnish information to Bagul. Speaking to media persons on Thursday, Atul Bagul said, "According to the committee report, every college has 15% additional seats of its total capacity to admit Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) but under the guidance of Pandit, over 1,800 Indian students were given admission in various professional colleges affiliated to the UoP." Fifteen per cent additional seats are purely reserved for PIOs. PIOs are persons who are foreign citizens but whose parents or grand parents were citizens of India. "The students accommodated in this quota through Pandit, passed HSC in Maharashtra and secured only 50-60%. But they were allotted admissions in prominent city colleges," Bagul said. When the matter was first exposed in 2008, Jadhav appointed an enquiry committee headed by Sunanda Pawar. "During the investigation, the committee observed that the admissions have been made without adhering to rules. There is documentary evidence about the disparity in the number of students admitted through ISC and actual record with the ISC. The committee also observed during the enquiry that employees working with ISC during that period confessed that they received monetary benefit from Pandit for doing admissions of ineligible students, Bagul said. "A committee comprising retired justice J. A. Patil also held Pandit guilty for the wrong admissions but the UoP authorities took soft action against her by stopping her five increments."
"After the scam was exposed, Pandit should have been sacked but it seems the present vice chancellor Raghunath Shevgaonkar does not want to take any stern action against her," Bagul said. "A police complaint should be registered against her and the matter should be transferred to CID or ACB for further investigation," he said. Pandit could not be contacted despite efforts.
Courtesy: DNA India
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