More than 1,800 Indian students were admitted for seats reserved for PIOs
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
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,"
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