Third year Bachelor of Science (BSc) practicals were hit for the sixth consecutive day because of the ongoing teachers’ agitation, even as the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (MFUCTO) passed a resolution reaffirming their agitation.
Mumbai university exams could be conducted successfully in just 44 of the 80 centres, with more than 850 students being unable to give their exams.
Despite the government threatening punitive action, thousands of teachers from unions across the state courted arrest on Friday and have vowed to continue the boycott.
“The agitation is very strong and will continue,” said Tapati Mukhopadhyay, general secretary of MFUCTO, at a press conference on Saturday.
A resolution passed by MFUCTO has also opposed the “pressure tactics” employed by the government on college principals in trying to conduct exams and in threatening agitating teachers.
Exams in eight universities across the state have been disrupted, with unions upset with the government’s failure to properly address demands related to salary arrears and appointments.
On Wednesday, the state government said it might take action against teachers under the Essential Services Maintenance Act and dock their salaries.
Teachers have claimed that exams are being conducted in several colleges by inexperienced contractual teachers and by those not familiar with the relevant subject, including at colleges run by university officials holding important posts.
“A chemistry supervisor was appointed to oversee a botany exam,” claimed Madhu Paranjape, general secretary, Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union. “The supervisor was also supervising two exams simultaneously.”
University officials have steadily denied anything is amiss, claiming that everything was being done by the book.
Regardless of the ground realities, the university continued to insist that exams would proceed as scheduled. They will announce alternative dates for those who couldn’t so far give their exams, soon. “The schedule is being prepared,” said Naresh Chandra, pro vice chancellor of Mumbai university.