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'What is the Mumbai University hiding?'

Monday, April 30, 2018
By Parth Khatau

RTI activist unable to find answer from varsity about expenditure of fees collected for revaluation and photocopy of answer-sheets

The University Of Mumbai missed a deadline given by the state information commission after activist Aakash Vedak  filed an RTI, regarding fees collected and expenditure of the same by the varsity, for revaluation and photocopy of answer sheets from 2010 to 2017.

The RTI was filed by Vedak in October 2017 after which the University provided information only of fees collected. Speaking to ‘The Afternoon D&C’, Vedak said, "I wonder what the University is trying to hide. They have still not provided me the full information and do not seem to be willing to do so."

Vedak had filed the first appeal in November last year, post which he filed the second appeal against MU at the Maharashtra State Information Commission (MSIC).

State information commisioner Ajit Kumar Jain in his order as of April 11 directed the University to provide information to Vedak before April 28, a deadline the University has missed. Vedak continued, "It is the right of each and every student to know where their money for revaluation and photocopy of answer-sheets is going. The University earns crores of rupees in charging these fees and we would like to know whether the fees charged are correct or inflated." Vedak stated that he was told by Mumbai University officials that they do not have a seperate department to calculate expenditure of fees received for revaluation and photocopy. "I was only given vague information and I was only told of fees collected but not spent, which is not done," he added.

Activist and Advocate Abhishek Bhat who is backing Vedak in the matter stated, "If the Mumbai University claims that they are not over-charging students over these fees, and that they are spending responsibly then why can't they reveal where they have spent it? I cannot get my head around why they would hide information like this. The excuses they are giving are also weak in my opinion."

Vedak will now file a complaint againt the University and until he does not receive the information, the varsity shall be charged Rs. 250 per day as a penalty. "RTI is my basic right as a citizen of this country and Mumbai University is once again violating the right of the citizens," said Vedak. "I also demand a penalty to University officials and request the newly appointed vice-chancellor to direct every official to follow the RTI and provide information to applicants," he added.

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