The University of Mumbai has been functioning without a proper students’ grievance cell for more than a year now.
In the absence of Maharashtra Universities Act, which was scrapped more than a year ago by the state education minister, the students across colleges in the state are having a hard time as examinations are being held on unusual schedules and there are no grievance cells for them either.
“The university has been blaming the problems on lack of manpower and the fact that important posts are lying vacant at present. But they can’t wash their hands off all the problems by giving the same reason,” said Dinesh Panjwani, principal of R D National College, Bandra. He added that with important posts like pro Vice Chancellor, controller of examinations (COE) as well as senate members, colleges are finding it difficult to even communicate their problems with the university. These posts became invalid with no Act in place.
A meeting was held recently of a group of college principals in which they had decided to write to the state education minister, seeking his intervention in this issue and requesting him to push for the implementation of Maharashtra Public Universities Bill, 2015.
“All first year students are upset about the scheduling of examinations soon after the Diwali vacations. They ended up preparing for their first semester examinations all through the holidays,” said Sanchita Badkar, a first year student of Birla College in Kalyan. This is the first time that MU decided to conduct common examinations for first year degree students. While students will be appearing for the examination in their respective colleges the university will set the question papers.
While the schedule of examinations and changes in holiday season is just one part of the problem, the fact that the university has been functioning without a proper students’ grievance cell for more than a year now is the bigger issue. “This just goes to show that the university doesn’t care about us, even though clearly all the problems are affecting us directly or indirectly. We hope the wait for the new Act is worth all the problems we are facing,” said Raima Sarkar, a student of Jai Hind College in Churchgate.
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The new Universities Act has been in the pipeline for a year. Students are hopeful that the new Act will be cleared during the winter session next month. “Each and every clause in the Bill has been questioned by people and we have made changes accordingly. We hope it will be approved this December. The state education department is trying hard to get the required permissions,” said a senior government official. Till then, however, students and colleges have no choice but to work around the loopholes.
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