Space Issue Concerns At Mumbai University's Pali Department

Space Issue Concerns At Mumbai University's Pali Department

Mumbai University Honors Pali Department's Space Demand

Krisha V BhattUpdated: Thursday, December 28, 2023, 04:57 PM IST
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Mumbai University | File photo

Mumbai University has finally honored its commitment made in 2021 following a student-led protest that demanded more space for the Pali Language Department. In response to the persistent outcry over insufficient facilities, the university has allocated an entire floor to accommodate the needs of Pali language studies.

Student-Led Protest In 2021

The protest, which took place in 2021, highlighted the severe space issues faced by the Pali Language Department, with only two classrooms provided for over 300 students.

The then Pro-Vice Chancellor, Mr. Ravindra Kulkarni, now serving as the Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, had assured a dedicated floor for the Pali department during the construction of the new language building. This commitment was solidified through an official exchange of letters.

However, the management cited pandemic-related hurdles and the allocation of the ground floor to sports management by the Chancellor/Governor of MU as reasons for the delay in the process.

Dedicated Floor Assigned To Pali Language Department

After a prolonged delay, the matter was revisited by the Pali Department officials, leading to the assignment of the second floor of the new language building for Pali language lectures.

Despite the allocation, concerns have been raised by the Pali Department regarding the adequacy of the provided space. Officials urge for additional room allocations, expressing dissatisfaction with the current capacity, which they deem insufficient for the number of students.

MU Official Voices Concerns

Speaking exclusively to the Free Press Journal, Prof. Laxman Sonawane, a key figure working on the matter and an official from the Pali Department, shared his views on the department's concerns.

"The designated floor has very small rooms that can barely accommodate 10-15 benches, while the class size is 60 students," he explained. Prof. Sonawane disclosed ongoing discussions with the engineering department about combining classrooms to address the spatial constraints.

He expressed hope for a positive response from the higher management, emphasizing the need for suitable space to conduct weekend lectures. Prof. Sonawane highlighted the challenges with the current rooms, citing issues such as wall breaks, inadequate benches, and insufficient facilities for girls.

The engineers have presented a quotation for these infrastructural changes, and its approval is anticipated by next week.

With a student limit exceeding 350 in the department and 11 classes, including 3 classes for UG, a certificate course, and 4 classes for MA first and second-year students, the situation remains critical.

Students' Express Concerns

The Free Press Journal also talked to students from Mumbai University's Pali Department to gain insights into the student perspective.

"We use classrooms from other departments; our professors borrow them when they are not in use. Having a conducive space for study is essential for our education," expressed one student.

Another student added, "The management made promises two years ago, but we still lack sufficient space. If MU claims to be student-centric, they must fulfill their commitments."

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