Hill station as venue for principals’ workshop raises heat

principals of colleges affiliated to Uop set to meet at Mahabaleshwar; teachers' bodies slam 'splurging of funds'

An academic workshop to be organised by the University of Pune for the principals of affiliated colleges has triggered a controversy over the choice of venue for the February event — Mahabaleshwar. A few teachers' associations, among others, have questioned the decision to hold the workshop at the popular tourist spot that does not come under the jurisdiction of the university.

Calling it a move aimed to "splurge university funds", the Pune University College Teachers' Organisation (PUCTO) and the Pune University Teachers' Association (PUTA) have demanded that the workshop be organised either on university campus or at some other place in Pune, Ahmednagar or Nashik district that fall under the UoP jurisdiction.

As per the latest notification issued by the university's planning and development section, the proposed three-day academic workshop is scheduled to begin from February 15, and principals and directors of affiliated colleges are requested to participate in it.

The university's annual budget has provision for holding academic events for principals and teachers from affiliated colleges. The workshop to be held at Mahabaleshwar, around 125 km from here, is expected to be attended by more than 350 principals who would not be required to pay any charges. The university is likely to bear a minimum financial burden of Rs 15 lakh to Rs 18 lakh to hold the workshop, according to sources.

"It is nothing but splurging of money. The university funds is nothing but students' money and has to be used judiciously. The university itself has several venues available to hold a academic workshop. If the authorities wanted to move beyond Pune, they should have explored venues at Ahmednagar and Nashik districts," said PUCTO president Shamrao Lawande.

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