Pune: The year 2017 overall has been a busy year for Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). Amidst several controversies, there were some important developmental highlights as well that took place this year.
Establishment of Maharashtra Public Universities’ Act 2016
After 23 years, the State Public Universities’ Act 2016 came into force from March 1, 2017. It was passed in December 2016.
The Act provides for academic autonomy to State universities to improve their functioning and emphasises on students’ participation in academic amendments.
The Act stresses on setting up Equal Opportunity Cell for special students and Vishaka Cell to redress complaints of sexual harassment in all universities and affiliated colleges.
This new university act has paved way for student council election which was banned in 1994. Ever since the Act was passed, the students’ body representatives eagerly awaited the election, which has now been postponed to 2018, disappointing some students.
There are many issues related to the students like earn and learn schemes, scholarships, examination centre which go unnoticed by the administration.
If a student council body is formed, it will help address these issues at the earliest, said students’ representatives.
With the spirit of being student-friendly, Vice-Chancellor Nitin Karmalkar took charge of the post on May 17. In a one of its kind initiative, Karmalkar, to reach out to students, started ‘Prashna Tumche, Uttar Kulguranche’ (your questions, vice-chancellor’s answers) through community radio ‘Vidyavani’ on FM Band 107.4 MHz. He promised to elevate the university to world-class level and build better infrastructure for quality research work. SPPU has got its Pro-Vice chancellor NS Umrani after a decade.
Senate elections was another grand affair and was held after seven years as per the State Public University Act, 2016. With big names from political backgrounds like former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s cousin Prasenjit Fadnavis associated with it, all eyes were set on the elections.