In a letter to the University of Mumbai Vice-Chancellor Suhas Pednekar, BUCTU President G. B. Raje and General Secretary Madhu Paranjpe have highlighted the plight of millions of displaced households, lost incomes and desperation to migrate to their native places on foot.
There is no data available on the number of students who may be affected by this and BUCTU said any plans by the varsity to announce tentative exam schedules would add to the stressed and stranded students woes.
Raje and Paranjpe have urged Pednekar to focus entirely on the commencement of the Academic Year 2020-2021 when normalcy returns instead of announcing tentative exam schedules.
“All First Year & Second Year (degree) students should be allowed to take admission for the next year, pending their exams and results. All students in all faculties, be allowed to keep term next year This should be made applicable to all autonomous institutions as well,” the BUCTU office-bearers demanded.
Even after the lockdown is lifted, all colleges must be granted a two-week window to plan normal academic activities and allow students 3-4 weeks’ time to resume lectures, but in view of the massive disruptions around the country, any exams must be planned only after a return to complete normalcy, Raje and Paranjpe said.
For engineering students, BUCTU has said that if the situation normalizes by April 30, then colleges may reopen from May 3, and a 3-week window must be given to enable students complete their pending years and Fourth Year exams as many would have to prepare for campus placements by June-July.
In case the situation demands further measures till mid-May, then a weeklong window should be given to the engineering colleges when they can conduct all oral exams by video-conferencing, followed by the regular First-Fourth Year exams from May-end to mid-June.
The BUCTU said that in both cases, for this year the Second-Third Year exams must be conducted at the college levels after June 22, before starting the next AY 2020-2021, to ensure any delays are nullified.
Raje and Paranjpe requested Pednekar to convey the BUCTU’s suggestions to the Chancellor and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Minister for Higher & Technical Education Uday Samant in this matter.
Founded 162 years ago, the University of Mumbai is ranked among some of the world’s oldest and biggest varsities with more than 710 affiliated colleges.