The University of Mumbai (MU) had cancelled a training programme midway abruptly for its officials in administration at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP), Bhayander after students raised objection over the “political nature” of the training and its affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
While participants were given technical glitch as a reason, it has started a new political controversy in varsity as Students organisations such as Yuva Sena and National Students Union of India (NSUI) have strongly opposed the workshop in collaboration with RMP which is RSS think-tank.
Purpose of the training
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. Though, 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 workshop, which began on Friday at the RMP at Uttan village in Bhayander was abruptly called off on Saturday. The Mumbai University registrar communicated to the Prabodhini on Saturday the decision to wind up the training workshop.
Also, Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member, Rajeev Satav, had objected to the training session and raised the issue with Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant.
“Who doesn’t know about RMP? It is a politically-motivated organisation affiliated to the Nagpur. They are planning to brain-wash university officials and link them to the Sangh,” said Pradip Sawant, a Yuva Sena member.
However, the university maintained that the training had no political links.
“This was a routine training programme as we organised with various think-tanks of the country. And, there was no political agenda,” said a senior university official, on the condition of anonymity.
The training was to assistant/deputy registrar or equivalent levels for enhancing their administrative skills and soft-spoken skills. There were 30 officers, who were participating in this training programme.