State universities should proceed with exams, and vice chancellors will be responsible for ensuring they are conducted, a new government order has said.
The order, issued on March 20, says universities will have to ensure that paper setting, invigilation and assessment is undertaken. They can use unused question papers from previous years, and engage teachers on contract or from unaided sections. The order also says that any person or organisation that tries to disrupt exams can be booked, and college principals can ask for police help to ensure exams are held without incident.
This comes in the wake of the ongoing boycott by more than 40,000 teachers of all exam-related work since February 4 in eight state universities, which has led to postponement or disruption of exams. In Mumbai University, third year BSc practicals have been disrupted since March 4. Theory papers are supposed to begin from March 28. University officials have said there is no change in the schedule so far.
“Based on this order it will not be difficult to conduct exams,” said TP Madhu Nair, dean of the commerce faculty.
However, teachers’ unions are still belligerent. “Threats will not work,” said Madhu Paranjape, general secretary of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union at a senate meeting on Thursday. “If you conduct the exams, we are ready to meet the police at the gate.”
At Thursday’s senate meeting, members asked university officials if theory exams would proceed as scheduled. “Why have so many practical exams not been conducted? Can you assure us that theory papers will start as scheduled?” Pradeep Sawant, a Yuva Sena senate member, said.
Vice chancellor Rajan Welukar said the board of examinations was meeting on Saturday and there had so far been no decision to postpone the theory papers.