Possible paper leaks, centre allocation errors, failure to print exam papers: the past two weeks have seen a series of goof-ups by the Mumbai University. With number of colleges and students outpacing the number of teachers and administrative staff, the university finds itself mired in problems.
Ten years ago the university had 338 affiliated colleges and 3.7 lakh students, as of 2011-2012 count it had 654 affiliated colleges and 6.4 lakh students. "With such a vast size the university becomes unmanageable, we need decentralisation with smaller clusters of colleges under a director," said Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice chancellor of Mumbai University. "The number of students has increased but the number of teaching and non-teaching posts has not correspondingly increased."
Senate members lashed out at the university at the budget sessions on Wednesday and Thursday for these issues.
Although the university has appointed MG Shirhatti, an academic council member and director of the Oriental Institute of Management Studies, to look into the alleged paper leak, this would not be a solution to the university's mismanagement. A text message was circulated 30 minutes before the TYBCom human resources management paper was to start on Wednesday morning. Many question in SMS actually appeared in the final question paper. The university, on Thursady, denied any paper leak. Dean of the commerce faculty TP Madhu Nair said that "less than 60%" similarities could be seen between Wednesday's paper and the SMS. "Anyone can make this much prediction," said Nair.
Another text message was circulated on Wednesday night with questions that would appear in Thursday's Export paper for TYBCom students. However, none of the questions in the SMS and final paper matched.
High drama ensued at the senate meeting, which had been convened to approve the budget, with seven Yuva Sena members being suspended by Welukar after they refused to be seated and maintain decorum for the discussion. This is probably the first ever such suspension. Welukar suspended the seven members under Section 14.11 of the Maharashtra Universities' Act, 1994. Yuva Sena senators then sat on a hunger strike outside.