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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