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SPPU English dept students score big after authorities agree to demands, end four-day hunger strike

The students have demanded to cancel the extension of the term of an assistant professor after its expiry. They also demanded the appointment of Raj Rao to teach the LGBT subject, instead of Jamir Kamble, whose approach had incited uproar among the students.

pune Updated: Apr 29, 2018 17:09 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,SPPU,English Department
Chandrani Chatterjee, the head of the department, has been asked to step down as it was one of the many demands put forth by the students.(HT FILE PHOTO)

Students of the English department of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have decided to call off their four-day long hunger strike after the varsity authorities decided to concede to their demands.

Chandrani Chatterjee, the head of the department, has been asked to step down as it was one of the many demands put forth by the students.

“Initially, the vice-chancellor had agreed on all our demands verbally and we were awaiting a written response without which we wouldn’t have discontinued the strike. But now the circular clarifies and accepts all our demands,” said Sphurti Kayastha, MA second year student.

Mentioning about the resignation, the circular released by SPPU in the evening, stated, “Chandrani Chatterjee has been asked to step down from the position of the head of the department. In her place, Sanjeev Sonawane will be taking charge under the guidance of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, NS Umrani. Having taken additional charges, both will probe into the matter and resolve them.”

“In terms of the exams, students appearing for the finals will continue to do so as per the timetable,” it added. Students had demanded to postpone the MA second year exams till May 15 and that these exams to be held post May 15 should be supervised and evaluated by other faculty and not the currently appointed professors to minimise the case of misevaluation. Citing cases of injustice, few students had also complained instances of discrimination between urban and rural students, by the faculty.

“It is very important to have highly qualified professors at the department of a state university, and we were majorly lacking that, with more number of assistant professors than PhDs. Among other things, this was a major demand that we had put forth in front of the university officials, that they seem to have finally agreed upon,” said an MA 2nd year student requesting anonymity.

The students have demanded to cancel the extension of the term of an assistant professor after its expiry. They also demanded the appointment of Raj Rao to teach the LGBT subject, instead of Jamir Kamble, whose approach had incited uproar among the students. He has been accused of wrongfully treating the students and misevaluating exam papers.

First Published: Apr 29, 2018 15:19 IST