Vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai Rajan Welukar suspended seven members of the university senate during the body’s annual meet on Thursday 29th March. In the Vidhan Parishad, the state legislative council was adjourned at least twice as opposition Shiv Sena-BJP members gathered in the well shouting slogans and demanding Welukars removal.
Mumbai universitys Rajabai tower hangs in shame today because of one mans doings, said leader of the opposition Vinod Tawde. Joining him in the protests were Sena legislators Diwakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam and Neelam Gorhe. Welukar suspended the seven through Section 14 (11) of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, which states: As the chairman of the authorities or bodies or committees of the university, the vice-chancellor shall be empowered to suspend a member from the meeting of the authority, body or committee for persisting to obstruct or stall the proceedings or for indulging in behaviour unbecoming of a member, and shall report the matter accordingly, to the chancellor. The chancellor of the university is the states governor.
The legislative council, under pressure from the opposition to immediately sack the V-C, assured that the demand would be looked into and that governor K. K. Sankaranarayanan would be apprised of the sentiment. Reacting to a notice of propriety raised by Shiv Sena MLC Deepak Sawant, minister of higher and technical education Rajesh Tope informed the council that only the governor has the authority to remove the V-C. The honorable governor is seized of the matter and I assure members that their sentiments will be conveyed to him. I will talk to him soon, said Tope, amidst pandemonium in the council over the demand for the V-Cs resignation. The minister further announced the setting up of a committee to inquire into the suspension of the seven senate members.
Among the seven members suspended was management council member Dilip Karande, who has been on the senate for 23 years. The seven members, all from the graduates’ constituency, were joined by Ulhas Dixit, head of the statistics department, who resigned because of the university’s decision to outsource exam-related work to Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited.
Till Wednesday 28th March, university heads rubbished reports of a question paper leak as wild rumours. But on Thursday 29th March, Welukar said, I cannot say that the (marketing and human resource management) paper has leaked unless the inquiry committee confirms the same. Questions in the paper were sent out via SMSs a few hours before the exam on Wednesday 28th March. In fact, every theory question in the message was in the question paper. Madhu Nair, dean of commerce, suggested that the university dispatch the question paper on the day of the exam instead of a day in advance, as had been done in this case.
Legislative council members sought to pass a resolution supporting the VCs resignation. Comparing the VCs tenure to that of Hitlers, legislators criticized the government for allowing an exam paper to leak and dragging its feet over an inquiry into the V-Cs antecedents, including his PhD. This VCs tenure has raised q u e s t i o n s about the entire university system in the country, said NCP legislator Hemant Takle. The state promised to address all issues, including the recent goof-ups. On March 27, over 600 T.Y.B.Com examinees panicked as they were given a question paper based on the revised syllabus, which was not meant for them. Officials faxed or e-mailed the correct question paper more than an hour later. There has been negligence. Well make sure those who have suffered reappear for the exam on April 10, Takle said.
Statistics head quits over exam gaffes:
The head of the statistics department, Ulhas Dixit, who was nominated to the senate by the vice-chancellor, resigned on Thursday 29th March. In his letter to vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar, he said he was against jobs being outsourced to the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd, against implementation of the credit system and the barcode and Optical Mark Reader (OMR) system. But the V-C, he said, didn’t act on his complaint.
The MKCL was asked to process hall tickets and assign exam centres to commerce students, but it created a huge mess; students were put through a lot of inconvenience, Dixit told TOI. He added that a research conducted by his department on the barcode system revealed that it led to disorder during the exams. Confusion level during these exams was about 40-80 %. The supervisors in the exam centers were not fully trained, which created confusion among students. On an average they made two to three errors per OMR sheet, the study concluded.
Dixit, a professor with MU for 30 years, believes it is not possible to roll out the credit system in MU as a few teachers handle a large number of students. The situation (in the university) has become so bad I fear students career will be adversely affected and some might go to any extent to vent out their frustration, he added in the letter.
The Suspended Seven:
Senate member suspended on Thursday 29th March, were from the graduates constituency.
Courtesy: Times of India