MU sets up senate amid universities bill haze

  • Shreya Bhandary, Hindusatan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 28, 2016 18:09 IST

University has set up a temporary senate with former varsity officials as well as government representatives to put together the budget for the upcoming academic year even as the fate of the new universities bill is unclear.

College principals as well as other former senate members, however, are upset about having no say in the process this year.

“We had to be prepared for the budgetary session and the process had to be completed before March 31. So a team of eight-nine representatives from the university as well as from the government have been selected temporarily to conduct the budget discussion,” said MA Khan, the registrar of the University of Mumbai (MU).

According to a provision of the State Universities Act, in case the senate has been dissolved (for whatever reason), a temporary senate can be put together for the budget.

With no word from the government or the university, principals are also unhappy about not being informed about the basic changes.

“We were under the impression that the bill would be passed by January-end and the elections would be held to form the new senate. The budget is just one of the responsibilities we have but the government seems to be hell bent in ensuring that all control goes only to one or two people in the university,” said a college principal who is also a former senate member.

Many are unhappy about the government still making no attempts to clear the confusion around the new Maharashtra Public Universities Bill (2015), as no word has been given out about the process underway.

“The role of the senate might be limited to giving suggestions but that doesn’t mean the government take the importance of the senate for granted. While the budget is least of our concerns, it’s about time the government clarify its stand on the new Act and start the process of conducting elections to fill vacant posts at the university,” said Dinesh Panjwani, the principal of RD National College.

HT had recently highlighted the various posts at the university that are still vacant, including important posts at the academic council, board of studies as well as that of the controller of examination.

As a stop-gap arrangement, the university has now got in touch with the former members of various bodies, including the board of studies, have been invited to put together the question paper sets as well as for evaluation.

“The university has also decided to continue with the same portion for the upcoming academic year, as there were no board of studies members so far,” said Marie Fernandes, the principal of St Andrew’s College.

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