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Archives for : neeraj hatekar

Mumbai University hacking off trees to protect the sleep of a faculty member #WTFnews

The Hon’ble Vice Chancellor
University of Mumbai

Sub: Indiscriminate and cruel hacking of trees on campus in order to ensure sound sleep for a faculty member

Respected Sir
Over the weekend, more than a dozen old trees have been hacked in an extremely cruel fashion. Ostensibly,this has been done following a complaint by a faculty member who found a bat colony that was a long time resident of these trees uncomfortable. The solution by the administration was to lop of every single branch of more than a dozen well established trees. The wood was promptly taken away by a bakery owner.
Sir, these trees, which were planted about four decades ago, had developed a rich canopy that sheltered passers by from the scorching sun and provided support to a host of lifeforms , including birds, inspects and mammals. I would often stand underneath and watch in amazement at the plurality of life on these trees. And I was not the only one.
I have written several letters to the Registrar asking him to take action against those culpable. I am aware that BMC permissions might have been obtained, but no civic body would grant permission for such hacking. The permission obtained would have been for pruning, which was later blatantly misused. I have had no response from him.
I want to ask you a question that can be asked only of an academic leader. What values are we passing on to the younger generation by such actions? That whenever we find nature inconvenient, chop it , burn it, get rid of it. Are you comfortable with this message that has obviously been sent and is there for anyone to see in the form of grotesque tree limbs, pointing heavenward in all their truncated agony? I request you to kindly share your opinion on this. We are all
looking forward Sir, to the voice that ought to guide us in such matters.
Your silence will only disappoint.
with regards
neeraj hatekar

[email protected]


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#Mumbai- Prof Hatekar puts forth more demands infront of VC

Mumbai Mirror | Feb 11, 2014, 12.41 AM IST
Prof Hatekar puts forth more demands even as earlier ones remain pending
Professor Neeraj Hatekar was recently suspended, but reinstated after students protested
Arita Sarkar

A Professor Neeraj Hatekar-led Joint Action Committee (JAC) put forth four demands in front of Mumbai University Vice Chancellor on Monday, including arevision in the rates of the “earn-learn” scheme. These were in addition to the charter of demands that was earlier presented by the Mumbai University students.

The Economics professor was recently in news when he was suspended for speaking against the university’s state of affairs. He was reinstated when students launched a protest movement in his support.

In a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar, Hatekar said many issues directly affecting students required his immediate attention. Suggesting a revision in the rates of the “earn-learn” scheme, he said the payments must be made to students on a monthly basis.

Highlighting another issue, Hatekar said students availing the hostel accommodation pay Rs 3,000 per month as mess charges, which was quite exorbitant for a supposedly subsidised service. “If you add other extra costs, such expenses are unaffordable to many students. We have requested the V-C to reduce the amount to Rs 700 per month,” said Hatekar.

The demand list also included an appeal to set up committees for each subject, so that highquality reference material in regional languages could be brought out by the university press instead of private publishers. Urging for introduction of remedial courses for students of all disciplines, Hatekar said it was important to make this change in the syllabi before the end of this academic year.

Meanwhile, the varsity-appointed committee, that was to address the infrastructural issues raised by students, failed to submit its report to the V-C after a 15-day deadline came to an end two days ago. The eight-member committee was constituted last month following a 24-hour hunger strike by the students.

The panel, headed by management council member Sanjay Shete and comprising of senate members, hostel wardens and engineering consultants, was supposed to consult various departments to decide on infrastructural problems that need to be fixed. Registrar M A Khan said, “The committee is in the process of filing the report. There has been a delay in coordination between the members and therefore it is taking more time.” He added if the report is not submitted by this week, a reminder will be sent.

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Professor who taught on footpath, has no political ambition #Neerajhatekar

I have no political ambition: Neeraj Hatekar
Monday, Jan 20, 2014, 10:04 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

His suspension not only sparked a heated debate over the falling health of the University of Mumbai and rising unrest among the students, but also exposed the functioning of its authorities forcing them to revert their decision. Professor of econometrics Neeraj Hatekar, 47, is the man of the moment. He spoke at length with Kanchan Srivastava.

Your reaction on revocation of suspension?
My suspension was illegal. The charges of moral turpitude and breaching the code of conduct framed against me held no truth as per the university’s statute. Still, I was suspended by the vice chancellor with the backing of a politician (refusing to name). Now, if the probe panel finds some substance in the issues raised by me, what would the university do?

You approached the media instead of using the in-house fora?
If someone points out that his emperor is not wearing clothes, does that mean the person has brought disrepute to the kingdom? Did paper leaks, exam delays, blunders in results not get bad names for the varsity? Public universities are run from tax payer’s money; I am also a tax payer and it’s my duty to raise a voice if I find any wrongdoing. In the past two years, I raised many issues with the vice chancellor, including appointments of ineligible people in various bodies. But I have not received any reply. I filed a PIL in the high court which directed the VC to provide the information to the Chancellor. It didn’t happen; so, I filed an affidavit. Approaching the media was my last option. I did so as a convenor of the joint action committee on higher education reforms, not as a teacher.

What’s next?
I would continue teaching; but the students’ agitation which was launched to support me, would be at forefront now.

Some claim you had mobilised students and teachers to garner support and instigated the agitation.

I didn’t instigate anything. Today, writer Rajan Gavas told me that he has gathered signatures of girls from 125 villages of Maharashtra to support me. Jagdish Bhagwati, Ramchandra Guha and teachers from other universities appealed for me on their own.

Do you think autonomy is hampering public universities?
Universities are not given full autonomy as funds come from the government and appointment of a VC is totally political. Actually, too many affiliated colleges and an opaque system of selection of members of various bodies are responsible for the decline of higher education. These bodies are supposed to get people with diverse knowledge so that best decisions can be taken for the welfare of young people. In reality, a small group of people with vested interests rules these bodies.

Some say you nurture political ambitions?
I will never join politics. Even if I take voluntary retirement, I will go to my hometown Panchgani to stay with my mother. Some politicians did come to me. I told them their help was not needed, but if they wished to take up students’ issues at their level, they can do so.


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Why I taught class on Mumbai roadside- Neeraj Hatekar

Blog | Dr Neeraj Hatekar | Updated: January 16, 2014 14:00 IST

Blog: Why I taught class on Mumbai roadside

Mumbai Dr Neeraj Hatekar, a professor in the Economics Department at the University of Mumbai, was recently suspended by the University allegedly for criticising the Vice Chancellor. On Tuesday, he took his classes on the road outside the campus gates. Dr Hatekar has petitioned the Bombay High Court against his suspension. 

We had barely sat down to dinner on Tuesday when my PhD student Savita walked in. She seemed a little, just a little, excited.

“Amol and Narayan have been taken to the BKC police station, others have gone with them,” Savita reported, adding, “they shouted slogans and waved black flags at today’s function.”

The function, held at the Mumbai University campus at Kalina, was attended by four ministers of the Maharashtra government and the incident happened when the Vice Chancellor stood up to speak.

At the dinner table, this took some time to sink in. My wife quietly packed away the dinner, as no one wanted to eat any more.

What would happen to the students? Had they been arrested?  Would the police beat them up?

Narayan and Amol are sons of small farmers from the dryland tracts of interior Maharashtra. I had watched closely as they struggled to pay fees and mess bills when a massive drought struck their homes last year.

The hostel mess had been closed for two months then, pending an administrative decision. Some students had gone back to their home towns because they could no longer afford to eat at hotels and restaurants. Some others resorted to eating only once a day.

I remember the dharna that the students staged for two whole nights before the VC’s bungalow, expecting merely an assurance that their mess would be re-opened soon. They were disappointed. (To sir, with love: University students to protest against professor’s wrongful suspension)

Later, university officials met them amid strict police security and promised to solve all their problems. This was a year ago. The mess has been re-started but other problems remain unsolved.

Indeed, many state universities in Maharashtra, like the Mumbai University, are in a mess of a serious kind. My confrontation with the administration of the Mumbai University has helped me see what the real problem is.

The universities are supposed to be autonomous organisations, run by the various authorities like the management council, senate, academic council, research recognition committees, with the purpose of creating and disseminating quality knowledge. Unfortunately, the various committees often function for the private interests of the powerful lobbies that run them.

The Vice Chancellors are supposed to keep these strongmen in check, but they lack the stature to be able to exercise necessary control. Many times they obtain their positions through small-time politicians and then survive on their skills of managing the various factions. Academic objectives fall by the way side.

At the Mumbai University, the appointment of the Vice Chancellor has been mired in controversy since the day he joined.

At our press conference – which resulted in my suspension – we raised the point that the Vice Chancellor has provided false and misleading information to the Governor about his experience and research qualifications. (Suspended professor takes classes on the road)

His CV said that he had 25 years of teaching experience and 12 research papers. In a subsequent affidavit submitted to the Bombay High Court, he changed it to five research publications and 14 years of experience (while the mandatory experience is 15 years).

We had also raised issues of poor quality of infrastructure, the problems that students and teachers face with the credit based system that has been imposed on them and several other issues to do with the quality of education that the University has been providing. As a result of all these, the rank of the Mumbai University among Asian Universities slid from 96 to below 150.

Currently, I am under suspension for holding the press conference and “misguiding the media”. This is supposed to be a “breach of the code of conduct”. The copy of the code of conduct that I have, however, says nothing about publicly criticising the University as a member of a teachers-students’ organisation.

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Prof Neeraj Hatekar suspension revoked – Long Live Student-Teacher-Karamchari Unity !

Long Live Student-Teacher-Karamchari Unity !

Long Live Campus Democracy!

A Memorable Victory for Students’ Movement!


The suspension of Prof. Neeraj Hatekar has finally been revoked after 13 days of students’ protests. On January 4, Prof. Hatekar had been suspended in an extremely undemocratic fashion by the MU authorities for raising questions about our welfare, the functioning of the university and the irregularities going on in the university. On January 6, on the call of the UCDE, a students’ protest was organized demanding the revocation of Prof. Hatekar’s unjust suspension. On January 8, again, a protest was organized which was attended by approximately 400 students. When the MU authorities continued to show their callous attitude to the demands raised by the students, the students again organized Silent Protest on January 12. After that, on the call of the UCDE, students of MU held a general body meeting on January 15; it was decided in the GBM that on January 20, the students will hold a One-day Hunger Strike against the tyranny of MU authorities. Finally, on January 19, the MU authorities yielded to the demands of the students and consequently revoked the suspension of Prof. Neeraj Hatekar.

Friends, this is a victory of our collective strength and organization. The protests organized by us have been an embarrassment for the MU authorities, as the whole world was watching the simmering discontent among the MU students. The UCDE has always believed that the issue of Prof. Hatekar was not simply an issue of suspension of a teacher; it was an issue of Campus Democracy. Therefore, the revocation of suspension is a victory for Campus Democracy. This also shows that we must not stop here and continue our fight to expand the democratic space within the campus. However, at this moment, we must also convey the message of this victory among all our student friends of the campus. So, the UCDE calls upon all students, teachers and karamcharis to join a VICTORY MARCH on January 20 at 9 AM in the Kalina Campus.

University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE)

calls everyone to join


9 AM, January 20, Kalina Campus, Mumbai University

Lets unite our voices once again to celebrate this victory for Campus Democracy!


Call issued by:

University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE)


[email protected], 9619039793, 9769903589,

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Mumbai University may revoke prof Neeraj Hatekar’s suspension on Saturday

Saturday, Jan 18, 2014, 7:13 IST | Agency: DNA
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray meets Neeraj Hatekar at his Kalina house on Friday.

Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray meets Neeraj Hatekar at his Kalina house on Friday. – Swapnil Sakhare/DNA

The University of Mumbai’s management council will meet on Saturday to discuss the suspension of econometrics professor Neeraj Hatekar after the governor’s call to solve the matter at the earliest.

Governor and chancellor of the university K Sankaranarayanan on Thursday asked the university vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar to resolve the issue amicably “at the earliest” and following “due procedure” in the larger interest of students.

Following the governor’s intervention, the University of Mumbai called for a management council meeting on January 18 to discuss the suspension.  “My suspension is illegal and I will be happy to be back. However, the university will have to provide reasonable answers for questions raised,” said Hatekar.

On Friday, Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray visited professor Neeraj Hatekar’s residence at the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus to extend his support to the professor and students who are fighting against the varsity’s decision to suspend the professor.

Though neither VC nor pro-VC responded to calls, a highly placed official confirmed that the governor has given an “earful” to the VC, prompting the latter to soften his stand. Revoking Hatekar’s suspension would definitely be the best solution before management council.

An official said: “The management council has two options:  1)To revoke the suspension and order a departmental inquiry. A committee could be asked to probe charges against Hatekar and submit the report within 15 days.  2)A time-bound inquiry could be ordered without revoking the suspension. The suspension would be reviewed on the basis of the inquiry report.

“The choice of the option depends upon the “severity” of the words used by the Governor,” says a MC member. He added, in either case, Hatekar would be served a chargesheet seeking his explanation


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Governor meets VC over Prof Hatekar’s suspension

The lectures continued for the third day outside the Kalina campus gate; students plan to conduct hunger strike on January 20 to highlight their problems and demand for their professor to be called back

 January 17, 2014

Kranti Vibhute

Professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar’s lectures outside the Mumbai University (MU) campus gate at Kalina stepped into their third day, with yet another lesson being delivered to over 30 students last afternoon. Meanwhile, Governor K Sankaranarayanan had called Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar for a meeting at Raj Bhavan to discuss the controversial matter.

Professor Hatekar used a microphone at the lecture yesterday, so that his students could hear him over the din of the traffic. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

A press release from the Raj Bhavan said, ‘The Governor and Chancellor of the University of Mumbai K Sankaranarayanan today asked the VC Dr Rajan Welukar to resolve the issue arising out of the suspension of Professor Neeraj Hatekar in an amicable manner at the earliest and following due procedure, in the larger interest of the students and the reputation of the University.’

Many new faces were seen at the lecture today. Around 33 students came to attend the lecture at 3 pm on game theory, a topic in Microeconomics. In a fresh development, the Joint Action Front of students from the Save Mumbai University Campaign and University Community for Democracy and Equality are planning to conduct a hunger strike for a single day on January 20 outside the Kalina campus, at the same spot where Professor Hatekar is holding his lectures. They want to highlight the problems experienced by students of the varsity and also demand that Professor Hatekar’s suspension be revoked.

At least 10 students will sit for the hunger strike. Professor Hatekar said, “Today I borrowed a mike from my wife, who is also a professor. There is a lot of noise from vehicles outside the main gate of the Kalina campus of Mumbai University. I think students were able to hear me more clearly today.”

Support from students
This is the first time I am attending Professor Hatekar’s lecture outside the campus. Though it was on the footpath with noise coming from the busy street full of traffic, Sir’s voice was reaching everyone as he was giving the lecture on a mike that he had brought. I can go anywhere to gain knowledge, especially when it is from a professor like Dr Hatekar. – Shipra Verma, MA (Part -I)

I am not good at Mathematics, but when sir teaches, he makes the subject so easy that we understand. No one can teach like him. Starting today, we have a professor teaching us in place of Professor Hatekar, but
Dr Hatekar’s teaching is unique. – Ayush Khaitan, MA (Part-I)


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Support for#Neerajhatekar pours in from other universities


TNN | Jan 16, 2014,

MUMBAI: Teacher unions of several universities have written to chancellor K Sankaranarayanan and vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar to reinstate suspended Mumbai University econometrics professor Neeraj Hatekar.

Despite the suspension, Hatekar is conducting lectures outside the campus.

The Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (post-graduate) teachers‘ association expressed “deep concern about the illegal and immoral suspension”. In a letter to the chancellor, association secretary Satish Dandage said: “We consider this as grievously undemocratic and brazenly autocratic act of the vice-chancellor against all of us representing the dedicated teaching community.”

Another 48 teachers from Mumbai University signed a letter against Hatekar’s suspension and sent it to the VC. They expressed their “strong displeasure”. The letter said: “Apart from being an excellent teacher, he is known for his honesty, his selfless nature, his effort for betterment of quality in higher education and his competence in the subject he teaches.”

The state’s minority teaching and non-teaching union has written to the chancellor and stated that Hatekar was within his rights as a citizen “to fight against insensitive, corrupt and the irresponsible bureaucratic machinery”.

Hatekar plans to hold a lecture outside the university gates on Thursday as well. Two students who were detained by the police on Wednesday evening for protesting by raising black flags against the VC were released a little before midnight, after the Octave festival ended.

The University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE) held a general body meeting of students on Wednesday.

Narayan Kharade, member of the convening committee of the UCDE, said it was decided that a one-day hunger strike would be held and signatures would be collected for a memorandum to be sent to the chief minister and the education minister against the suspension. We are going to organize class-to-class propaganda to make this hunger strike successful. We hope that common students of MU would also join us in the protest. Though the date of the hunger strike has not been finalized yet, but tentatively it will be on January 20. Till then, we will also continue to collect more signatures for the memorandum to be submitted to the CM and Education Minister, against the suspension.”

The law on detention

* For preventive detention, the police generally use Section 151(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, where a police officer has got powers to detain a person for a maximum period of 24 hours. If it is expected that the person would be a threat to the peace for a longer duration, then a magistrate can authorize detention for up to 30 days.

* Once a person is detained, generally a chapter case is made against him for signing a bond of good behaviour. If the person is unable to sign a bond with proper sureties as demanded by the executive magistrate, then he can be detained for a year

* The police, after obtaining orders from the commissioner of police, detain a person under the National Security Act and also under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act. Such detention can be for a maximum a year. Confirmation from an advisory board would be required after two months, failing which the detained person would be released



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#India – Suspended MU Professor turns footpath into classroom

Backed by students, suspended Mumbai University professor Neeraj Hatekar turns footpath into classroom

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014, 7:27 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Professor Neeraj Hatekar teaches students outside the university's Kalina campus on Tuesday.

Professor Neeraj Hatekar teaches students outside the university’s Kalina campus on Tuesday. – Shraddha Bhargava Chaturvedi/DNA

More than 40 students sat on the footpath outside the university’s Kalina campus. The afternoon heat did not bother them. From 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday, they attended a lecture by suspended economics professor Neeraj Hatekar.

The University of Mumbai suspended the professor on January 4 for speaking to the media and thus breaching code of conduct. Since then, the students have been protesting against the move.

The students were also worried about losing out on academics but they have found a solution.

On Tuesday, Hatekar took a class on the footpath near the campus entrance. “It was very sunny on the location which we had decided earlier but we didn’t want the class to suffer so moved to the footpath nearthe main entrance,” said Amol Kale, a student.

Tuesday’s class was about game theory and how it helps understand the unorganised sector in Mumbai and was also attended by students who aren’t enrolled in his course. “We have heard that he is a great teacher. This was a perfect chance to learn from him and also extend our support,” said a PhD student.

After the overwhelming response on day one, Hatekar is hoping that the numbers will grow.

“Although today was a holiday, more than 40 students turned up for the class. I expect more to join the next class,” said Hatekar.

On Wednesday, he will teach non-parametric econometrics from 9am to 11am. Tuesday’s class also saw MLCs Kapil Patil and activist Sambhaji Bhagat attending it. “Two days ago, I met the governor to discuss the suspension and he has assured us of necessary steps,” said Patil.

Sources said the governor met the chief minister on Monday to discuss the matter.

While support for Hatekar continues to pour from all corners, he is happy being back with his st dents. “I met the governor, the chancellor of the university. Apart from him, I don’t feel the need to approach anyone. The university ca not stop me from interacting with students outside the campus,” said Hatekar.

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From 3 pm to 5 pm yesterday, 40 MA students attended a lecture on game theory by Neeraj Hatekar, suspended for speaking out against the vice-chancellor, outside the Kalina campus of Mumbai University


Kranti Vibhute Mid- day

While the management at Mumbai University ousted Professor Neeraj Hatekar soon after his press conference against the state of affairs in the university, they seem to have overlooked the small matter of arranging for someone to take over the portion of the syllabus that had been allotted to him.

The students sat for two hours on the road, straining their ears against the din of the passing traffic, under the watchful eyes of the police. Pic/Amit Jadhav

His students, however, decided that no one could quite replace their beloved professor. In a show of solidarity for their suspended teacher, the students sat for two hours on the road, braving the elements and straining their ears against the din of the passing traffic, to listen to the academician’s expository on game theory.

Prof Hatekar at the lecture outside the Kalina campus gate. Pic/Amit Jadhav

Hatekar, who is a professor in Econometrics in the Economics Department of Mumbai University, was suspended on January 4 for conducting a press conference where he railed against the mismanagement rife in the university administration, and accused the Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar of violating several university norms. In a subsequent interview with MiD DAY, he was scathing in his criticism of the university (‘Our VC runs the varsity like a kitchen cabinet’, January 11).

Ever since the suspension, his students have been missing him sorely. Eager to hear him address them again, they requested him to deliver the lecture outside the Kalina campus of the university. Around 40 MA students showed up for the lecture outside the university’s main gate. The class continued from 3 pm to 5 pm, with Hatekar discussing the fundamentals of the game theory, such as the prisoner’s dilemma, dominant strategy, and competitive equilibrium.

Students of the varsity claim that they have been feeling the pinch ever since their professor was shunted, in the absence of the lectures that had been allotted to him. They approached Hatekar, who agreed to hold his lectures in General Economics and Statistics outside the university gates, as he no longer has access to a proper classroom. As news of the lecture spread, a team of 25 policemen sped from the Bandra Kurla Complex police station and stood guard at the site, to swoop in and take charge at the first sign of trouble.

Left in the lurch
At the time of his suspension, Hatekar was teaching the Microeconomics- II module to students in the second semester of their MA in Economics course, and multiple linear regression and its extension to fourth semester students. Microeconomics-II is a compulsory subject, while the other is an elective.

Lectures on these subjects have not been held since January 4, said the students. A total of 118 students were being taught these two modules by Hatekar, and were left in the lurch when the lectures were suddenly suspended. The MA in Economics is a credit-based course and a minimum of 72 credits is required to clear the course. Exams are held once every six weeks.

Speaking to MiD DAY about the experience, Dr Hatekar said, “The students requested me to hold the lectures, and I agreed as I don’t want their academics to be hampered because of my suspension. We have decided to have the lectures outside the MU gate, once a day, according to the convenience of the students. I cannot deliver the lecture in any hall, so we had to sit outside the MU gate.

For the first time, a lecture took place alongside a police van. Around 40 students came to attend my lecture today.” Meanwhile, two students were detained by the BKC police for shouting slogans against the suspension during VC Rajan Welukar’s address during the The Octave festival at the Kalina campus last evening.

Former office bearers speak
A professor under suspension can be unofficially permitted to hold a lecture. He should have been told. The option of giving a lecture voluntarily should have been extended to him. The authority should have approached him to tell him that he could come and take the lecture in class for the bonafide students of the university. A suspended professor is supposed to come and report to work every day. There is no reason to stop him. There is very immature leadership in the university. Many times, people on suspension are asked to come and do their work in an emergency. We have done this in the past.
– A D Sawant, former pro vice Chancellor, Mumbai University

What is wrong if Professor Hatekar teaches in the university? Nobody should prevent him from teaching. He may not offer administrative services but if he tells the VC that he is very keen on teaching the students, I don’t think any VC will say no. He should take the initiative and a room will be made available to him. That is the job of the director of the Economics department.
– Dr Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice chancellor

The BUCTU feels the University has taken a decision which is illegal, improper and without following proper procedure. The vice chancellor should withdraw this suspension and since the university has completed 167 historical years, it should think about improving its status.
– C R Sadashivan, president of Bombay University and College teachers Union

Students speak
We have many books to read from, but learning from Hatekar Sir is a different experience altogether.
– Paramita Debnath, MA Part II

It was our first experience of sitting on the footpath to learn from the professor. There was a lot of disturbance, but what could we or Sir do? We are the ones losing out and want to attend sir’s lecture, having missed many of them after his suspension. We are ready to attend his lecture even in the middle of the road. We have no other option.
– Rituparna Bhattacharya, MA Part II, Semester IV

There was a lot of commotion and we were sitting very close in order to listen to him. Sir is such a wonderful teacher that we can go to any extent to attend his lectures. If his suspension is not revoked, will sit here till the end of our semester to attend his lectures.
– Neeraja Vaidya, MA Part II

The Other Side
Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar of Mumbai University remained unavailable for comment. Dr Naresh Chandra, Pro Vice Chancellor of the varsity, said, “He is not prohibited from campus, but yes since he is suspended, as per the rule, he may not be able to teach. His department knows whether students are missing any lectures or not.”

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#India – Mumbai Professor takes classes on the road #Neerajhatekar

| Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh | Updated: January 14, 2014 1 NDTV

Mumbai: Suspended professor takes classes on the road
Mumbai: Suspended professor takes classes on the road
Neeraj Hatekar, a Mumbai professor, was suspended for allegedly speaking against university authorities
Mumbai: A professor suspended by the University of Mumbai took his classes today on a road outside the campus gates with about 40 students seated on newspapers, a sleepy dog also in attendance.

Dr Neeraj Hatekar, an economics professor, was suspended on January 4 after he went public against Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar and blamed him for the downslide in the university’s academic status. The university accused him of “misconduct and moral turpitude.”

For days, students have protested his ‘punishment’ and demanded their favourite professor back.

“They come from all over the country and get disappointed when they realize I am not teaching. They wanted to learn some aspects of economics and I didn’t want to spend money on hiring a hall, so here we are,” Dr Hatekar told NDTV.

Students allege that Dr Hatekar, who is widely respected as a teacher of game theory and microeconomics, was punished without being given a chance to defend himself. “We can learn anywhere. We are with Hatekar sir and we will support Hatekar sir,” said a student at the open air class. (University students protest against professor’s ‘wrongful’ suspension)

Last week, students skipped classes and shouted slogans outside the university’s office, holding placards. A Facebook page ‘Save the Mumbai University’ urges more people to join in the protest. (AAP joins student’s protests)

Dr Hatekar has petitioned the Bombay High Court against the “arbitrary and illegal” suspension order.

He has alleged that a politically-backed kitchen cabinet runs the university. “When Mr Welukar joined, the university was ranked 96, now it is 150,” he said last week. (Watch: Has Mumbai University lost its glory?)

The university had defended its action. “Professor Hatekar maligned the university,” said Registrar RA Khan. “Why didn’t he approach us with these issues in the past three years?”

  • #India – Neeraj Hatekar and the imperatives of academic freedom (
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