Mumbai: Nearly 50,000 are facing uncertainty with their academic year as the University of Mumbai(MU) has put off its winter semester examinations for all non-agricultural undergraduate and postgraduate courses until further notice.
Several LLB, LLM, MA, MSc, and MCom students amongst others had already begun appearing for their examinations at MU and its affiliated colleges when the non-teaching staff decided to boycott all exam-related activities to meet demands of their protest.
After appearing for the exams slated on Thursday, February 2, 2023, the students received a notice from their colleges announcing the postponement of all tests until further notice.
Lectures go on while exams on halt
It is business as usual for lectures and vivas at MU, whereas all ongoing written tests have been completely put on hold. “I have shifted to Mumbai from Jalgaon to finish my master’s. Our schedule of studying and plans for going back home shamble every time the varsity changes its timetable. The whole process of taking an exam becomes very stressful since the university is also known to delay our results,” said Ritesh Chaudhari, an MA student.
Those who have been juggling their jobs alongside their education were irked by this sudden announcement by the university. “After taking my first LLB exam, I was told that the next three papers have been postponed and there is no telling when they’ll conduct those. A bunch of students in LLB have full-time jobs. We sent in leave applications to our offices to make sure that we were present for our tests and then suddenly the exams were withdrawn. It might be very difficult to get leaves again,” said Sagar Birade, a BLS LLB student at Mumbai university.
Protests will stop once the GR is issued
The Non-Agricultural University and College Servants Joint Action Committee, on February 2, 2023, vowed to boycott all exam-related activities within Mumbai universities and all other affiliated colleges to meet their demands of recruiting for the vacant non-teaching staff positions, implementing salary benefits under seventh pay commission, old pension scheme among others benefits.
“Non-teaching staff at non-agricultural colleges is the only demographic in the educational sector that is not paid according to the seventh pay commission. We don’t mean to trouble students but there have been countless meetings for this since 2019, and no GR ever came out of it.
We are willing to cease the agitation even if the higher education department immediately implements even a few of our demands,” said Rupesh Malusare, general secretary of the Mumbai Vidyapeeth Karmachari Sangh (MVKS), a non-teaching staff organisation.
The new timetable for winter semester exams is to be uploaded on the official Mumbai University website.
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