The senate meeting of the University of Pune, on Saturday, set the ball rolling to name the university after late social reformer Savitribai Phule.
The issue was discussed at the recently held monsoon session of the state legislature, in which Minister for Higher and Technical Education Rajesh Tope said the government would consider the demand if UoP came out with a formal proposal.
Speaking on the related adjournment motion at the senate meeting, Vice-Chancellor Wasudeo Gade said a proposal to name the university after Phule would soon be sent to the government.
The demand has been made for the past two years with a special action committee taking the issue to the state government through different forums.
Senate member Shashikant Tikone, who brought the adjournment in motion, said it would be appropriate to name UoP after Phule, who pioneered women education in India. Supporting the demand, veteran senate member Gajanan Ekbote said the name ‘Pune’ should be restored in the proposed name ‘Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule Vidyapeeth’.
Prof Gautam Bengale, who has been leading the agitation, said the university administration should sent the desired proposal to the government without delay. “Once the university submits its proposal, we will meet the chief minister and Minister for Higher and Technical Education Rajesh Tope to ensure other formalities are completed immediately,” he told Newsline.
Savitribai Phule (1831-1897), along with her husband and social leader Mahatma Jotiba Phule, played an important role in improving women’s rights in India during the British Rule with Pune being her major working field.
The resolution to name the university after Phule was one of the resolutions passed at the 83rd All India Marathi literary meet held in the city in March 2010.
Former state BJP president and MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar was among the political figures, who was instrumental in raising the demand in the state legislature.
Formerly known as the University of Poona, UoP was established on February 10, 1948. With its jurisdiction over Ahmedgarh, Nashik and Pune districts, the university has more than 600 affiliated colleges and over 300 recognised institutes.