Following a series of protests including a hunger strike organised by Mumbai University‘s students over the past several weeks, the institution has appointed a committee to address a number of issues that they have been raising. At the end of the committee’s investigation, it will submit a report to the university within 15 days, specifying the problems in the infrastructure that need to be addressed.
Apart from 16 allegations on mismanagement that were raised by Economics professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar in December, the students have now actively taken up their own charter of demands. On January 20, 12 students sat for a 24-hour hunger strike with their demands that they placed before university officials.
Several students’ associations had raised serious issues in the Physical Education department including lack of basic facilities like security in the women’s locker rooms. The Joint Action Committee, headed by Dr Hatekar, had also recently taken up the issue of PE Ph.D students whose thesis topics were yet to be approved. Amol Gadade, one of the students who sat for the hunger strike, said, “All 20 demands including installing dustbins in the campus, arranging for security, allowing 24 hour access to reading rooms and libraries can be resolved within eight days. There is no reason to for them to delay,” he said.
The committee, headed by management council member, Sanjay Shete, will comprise senate members, hostel wardens and engineering consultants. M A Khan, the university registrar said there will be a meeting on January 25 between the Vice Chancellor, Rajan Welukar, the PRO Vice Chancellor, Director of Board of College and University Development, wardens and engineering consultants and students.
Khan also defended a mail that was sent to university employees on Wednesday stating that all mails will henceforth be monitored and filtered by the IT administration. “This is not a sudden decision. There were complaints from teachers who said that unparliamentary language was being used in the mails and a third party had access to the system using a member’s ID,” he said.Prof Hatekar said he will be taking up this issue and will submit a representation of the teachers and the JAC to the university.