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Mumbai University appoints research scientist S.V. Deshmukh as new VC

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Research scientist Sanjay Vasant Deshmukh has been appointed the new vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai, the authorities said here on Saturday.

Deshmukh (50), presently a professor of life sciences in the university, will hold the post for a five-year term starting July 7. He was appointed by Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao.

He succeeds Rajan Welukar, whose tenure ending July 6 was marked by controversies.

Deshmukh obtained his MSc from the Institute of Science in 1986 and then completed his doctorate in botany in 1990.

He served as scientist and head, Coastal Systems Research Programme at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Centre in Chennai during 1990-1995, and later joined as principal scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society.

Later, he served as programmes director at Manava Sadhan Vikas Sanstha till 2001 and director (research) at the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in Vasai on the outskirts of Mumbai, which was nurtured and built by Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for nearly a quarter of a century.

Deshmukh joined the University of Mumbai as professor in the department of life sciences in January 2005 and is experienced in development and planning besides negotiations and execution of research and development projects.

A search committee appointed by the governor, headed by retired Justice B.N. Shrikrishna had finalised a panel of names for the top post.

Governor Rao interviewed the candidates and later announced Deshmukh’s appointment.

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For quality higher education Mumbai university to promote Marathi

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Mumbai: In good news for mother tongue lovers, Mumbai university is mulling over a proposal to promote Marathi language in its colleges to bring quality higher education. This comes days after Maharashtra’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde’s proposal to promote Marathi in schools was withdrawn in view of opposition from various quarters.

Mumbai university’s plan for the year “2016-17 and beyond” emphasises on the promotion of Marathi language in higher education as “medium of instruction in mother tongue or local language brings quality higher education,” according to reports.

“One of the established consensual learning of experts working in the arena of higher education is that one of the powerful issues when it comes to quality in higher education happens to be the medium of instruction whether it is in the local language or mother tongue. Whilst this is recognised, no real efforts appear to be taken anywhere to make quality material available in local languages. Our University intends to take concrete steps in this direction,” the perspective plan uploaded on the varsity website last week read.

“Whilst this is recognised, no real efforts appear to be taken anywhere to make quality material available in local languages. Our University intends to take concrete steps in this direction.”

The university’s perspective plan envisages “generating” and translating” top quality teaching material” of various subjects, mostly available in English, in Marathi.

Further, more students will be encouraged to learn Marathi in a bid to “transform Marathi as a full-fledged language of modern knowledge by creating a corpus for it.”

A plan to develop Marathi language software to connect with other institutes in the state alongside with the Centre’s National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology is also being considered.

“We will make every effort to invest (and seek state’s help in terms of resources) and develop local language software so as to make the connectivity efforts operationally functional.”