Why did the President cancel his plan to attend NU convocation ceremony?17 Feb, 2014
In an incident, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, called off his plans to attend the hundredth convocation ceremony of Nagpur University which was to be held in November, 2013.
When an application was filed with the President's Secretariat in this regard under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the reply from the secretariat revealed that as many as seven complaints were lodged with the President regarding the university’s stand on bogus degrees. The reply, without revealing the names of the complainants, shows that the complaints received from different quarters sought to inform the President about the university’s decision to legalise bogus degrees awarded to 1,378 students during the ceremony and requested him not to be a part of such instances. When President sought an explanation from the university, varsity’s chancellor asked the vice-chancellor to report about the allegations that he had given clean chit to all the degrees and asked him to submit an undertaking regarding this, the VC replied that genuineness of all the degrees cannot be guaranteed.
Based on the VC’s reply, the President's officer on special duty (OSD) stated in his report that the prevailing situation in the university cannot be termed as healthy and that there was no clarity as to whether all the degrees to be conferred during convocation would be legitimate following which the President decided not to attend the ceremony. There were reports of threat of boycott of the convocation by some members from the Management and Academic Councils and Senate due to alleged inaction in resolving the issue of banned colleges.