Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli, currently serving life sentence in the Nagpur Central Jail in connection with a murder case, is pursuing a degree course in arts from an open university in Maharashtra, an official said on Tuesday.
Gawli registered for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) course from the Nashik-based Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) in 2019 after he topped an examination conducted on 'Gandhian Thoughts' by an NGO in 2017, jail superintendent Anup Kumre said.
However, in the BA course, Gawli failed in one subject each in the first and second years.
He managed to pursue final year of the course under the ATKT (Allowed to Keep Terms) provision, the official said.
The ATKT is a process in the education system to allow students of pre-graduation and graduation courses to study in the next grade if they have failed in some subjects.
Kumre said prisoners were allowed to register for various courses from the YCMOU and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Gawli has been serving life sentence for the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar and has been behind bars since 2008.
A total of 229 convicted prisoners at the Nagpur Central Jail, including Gawli, are currently pursuing various courses - from BA to Master of Business Administration (MBA), another official said.
Out of them, 157 inmates, including 14 women, were pursuing BA from the YCMOU, while 72 inmates including two women had enrolled with the IGNOU.
A murder case convict at the jail is also pursuing MBA, the official said.
The prisoners get books by post from the universities, he said.
The exams for the inmates are conducted at the Nagpur Central Jail, which is notified as the examination centre by the two universities, the official added.