The three-month teachers’ strike that derailed the examination process of University of Mumbai and other varsities in Maharashtra a couple of months ago is back to haunt innocent students. Reason: 5000 professors of MU have refused to furnish an “undertaking” that they will cooperate with the varsity in the examination work.
More than two lakh undergraduates and postgraduate students are set to appear in exams, and this lack of understanding with the professors has created panic among principals and students.
Following the Bombay high court order passed in May, the University last week had issued a circular to all 770 colleges asking them to take an undertaking from teachers ahead of the semester exams. The undertaking demands a “written assurance” from teachers that they would perform all exam duties assigned to them, a move which has offended the teaching fraternity. The undertaking has to be submitted in eight days, i.e., by next Tuesday.
“This is an unwarranted act by the varsity. We are performing our duties. Why should we sign an undertaking?
Will the principal or any other varsity official give an undertaking?” asked Madhu Paranjape, general secretary of the Bombay University and College Teachers Association.
The union claims that all teachers wrote letters to principals on May 11, which reads that they are ending the strike and henceforth will co-operate.
Paranjape said, “The University is “misreading” the judgement, which is redundant now.” Asked if teachers have assured students that exams would not be disrupted, Paranjape said, “We are doing all the work assigned to us.
So there is no point to raise this question.”
The strike lasted for 96 days during which 65,000 teachers from all state varsities completely derailed the schedules of practical exam, paper setting process and assessment.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) approached the court and on May 10, the court directed the varsities to obtain an individual undertaking from the teachers on boycott.
The controller of examination, MU, Padma Deshmukh said, “We are just abiding by the court’s rule. I’m not aware if other universities have asked for an undertaking or not.”
Union representatives met vice chancellor Rajan Welukar on Thursday who has assured them that he will look into the matter.