SPPU refuses to bow down to agitating students’ demand

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 28 April 2018

34 students are protesting for postponement of an exam, removal of HoD of English department

Pune: The problems at the English Department of Savitribai Phule Pune University seem to be far from over. After a row over PhD interviews, now 34 students are demanding postponement of the final examination over partiality by the teachers. When the university agreed to postpone the paper from April 30 to May 8 or 9, the students refused to accept it. 

Meanwhile, when VC tried to communicate with the students by calling them to his cabin, but the students rejected his request and demanded that he come to meet them where they are agitating. Staying firm, the varsity refused to bow down to their demands and started the final examination for masters for first and second year as per schedule on Friday. 

The varsity officials including Vijay Khare, Dean of Humanities, Prafulla Pawar, Dean of Faculty, Prabhakar Desai, Director of Students Welfare, Professor of English Department, Hemant Shirsat have been on the spot to negotiate and resolve the issue. 

The 34 agitating students are demanding removal of the Head of the Department Chandrani Chatterjee and Lecturer Zameer Kamble, who according to them, allegedly gave them less marks in the internal examination. Surprisingly, these students scored less marks in the internal examination which was conducted twice after the students made allegations and demanded the examination to be held again. 

The students who are on hunger strike from last three days alleged that Kamble has not taught the ‘alternative literature 2’, LGBT subject in detail and is doing favouritism. 

“The professor for LGBT course, Kamble wrongly evaluated some students and gave less marks in the internal exam. When we brought this to the notice of the authorities, another presentation for internal assessment was conducted. Even after which our marks did not improve. Moreover, the subject was not taught properly,” said Rupali Bangare. 

“Our only demand is to postpone our exams and conduct it after May 15. We need time to prepare for it. Also, provide us with a faculty who has expertise in LGBT course to teach us. Also, partiality in the assessment of internal exam was done by the faculty,” alleged Poonam Gaydhane. 

“Chatterjee is excellent as a teacher but not a good administrator. She has been taking wrong decisions. She is partial towards students from convent schools over rural students. Therefore, we want her to quit,” claimed Bangare. 

While, 36 students from MA first and second year submitted a letter to HoD and Vice-Chancellor (VC) Nitin Karmalkar stating they are aware about the agitation by a few students. The exam timetable was put up on the notice board on April 4 which was three weeks early. 

Many students have booked their tickets and have further schedules ready which cannot be cancelled in short notice.

“Also, it would be unfair to us since the entire class who will suffer due to the postponement. Therefore, the examination should be held as per schedule,” said a student. 

A total of 85 students including both batches excluding protesting students took the exam.

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