De­nied grace marks by MU, city’s Sindhu clears re­peat exam

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Mustafa Plumber p_ mustafa@ dnain­dia. net

Even as the coun­try hails shut­tler P V Sindhu for win­ning a sil­ver medal in the re­cently con­cluded Olympics games, city- based shut­tler Pra­jakta Sawant was de­nied 10 grace marks un­der the sports quota by the Mumbai Uni­ver­sity, needed to clear her busi­ness man­age­ment ex­ams in the fi­nal year.

Sawant, how­ever, re­cently cleared her ex­ams, pend­ing the hear­ing of her pe­ti­tion seek­ing grace marks, filed in the Bom­bay High Court. She may now with­draw her plea. The mat­ter is likely to come up for hear­ing on Septem­ber 8.

Sawant was a com­merce stu­dent at Rizvi Col­lege in Ban­dra. Last year, she scored 19 marks in busi­ness man­age­ment pa­per and could not clear the sub­ject. Af­ter reval­u­a­tion, she scored two ex­tra marks, still short of nine. The uni­ver­sity could grant her those ex­tra marks as grace marks un­der the sports quota.

In Au­gust last year, the col­lege pro­vided Sawant with a let­ter ad­dressed to the direc­tor of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and sports, re­quest­ing the au­thor­ity to grant her 10 marks un­der rule 0.229 of the Mumbai Uni­ver­sity Rules and Reg­u­la­tions. How­ever, Sawant or the col­lege did not re­ceive any re­sponse to the let­ter. Fol­low­ing this, she sent a let­ter to the vice chan­cel­lor. When she didn’t get a re­ply to this let­ter as well, she moved the HC.

Mumbai Uni­ver­sity re­cently filed an af­fi­davit in re­ply, to the High Court, op­pos­ing Sawant’s pe­ti­tion on the grounds that “the plea was to­tally mis­con­ceived, un­ten­able and de­void of mer­its”.

MU regis­trar Dr M A Khan, in his af­fi­davit, has stated that the in­for­ma­tion up­loaded on the uni­ver­sity web­site clearly men­tioned the time by which the ap­pli­ca­tion for grace marks should have been sub­mit­ted by the stu­dent and the col­lege. Since that was not fol­lowed, the uni­ver­sity had to re­turn the re­quest pa­pers sent by the col­lege.

In her plea, Sawant had said she has been rep­re­sent­ing In­dia for the last nine years, in the sub- ju­nior, ju­nior and se­nior lev­els in sin­gles/ dou­bles and mixed dou­bles. She has won 12 in­ter­na­tional medals and her name fig­ures in the Limca Book of Records in 2010 for be­ing the first In­dian girl to win a gold medal in the sub­ju­nior Asian Bad­minton Cham­pi­onship.

Ear­lier, Sawant had moved the HC al­leg­ing men­tal harass­ment by the Bad­minton As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia ( BAI) chief na­tional coach Pul­lela Gopic­hand. She had also al­leged that she was left out of the All In­dia Na­tional Coach­ing Camp in Hy­der­abad, and that Gopic­hand pro­moted play­ers from his own pri­vate academy, Pul­lela Gopic­hand Bad­minton Academy in Hy­der­abad, while she was left out af­ter she de­cided to quit his academy.

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