NU installs College students’ Council having tenure of simply 13 days

NAGPUR: The (NU) on Sunday installed Students’ Council which will have a term of only 13 days.
The move raised hackles from different outfits and students who slammed the university for “misusing authority” as such a short term was of hardly any use as the council will get dissolved the day this academic session comes to an end, i.e. April 28 (April 29 and 30 being holidays).

Though the new Maharashtra Public Universities Act was promulgated on March 1, 2017, both the government and universities had been lackadaisical in its implementation. Among several omissions and commissions, the formation of Students’ Council was done as per the provisions of old Act. This decision too was taken only in December and universities completed the procedure by January and February.

In the only Senate meeting, the council president and its secretary Akash Thantharate failed to raise any student-centric issues, NU outfits claimed.

Teachers and students slammed the NU administration for “conveniently” delaying the installation while several student issues remained pending.

Asked about the purpose of the 13-day council, vice-chancellor SP Kane said, “It was done to complete the formalities.”

He added, “The council came into effect about two months ago. The function was held to hand over certificates. The government issued norms and procedure for formation of council in the last couple of months only. The common ordinance too was notified recently and the university implemented it.”

During the ceremony, Senate members demanded that the council be given extension till the start of next session. However, Kane said as per the Act, it can’t be done.

Senate member said a proposal to extend the tenure of the council will be placed before the NU administration.

Former Nagpur University Teachers’ Association (NUTA) secretary Anil Dhage said the process was delayed even otherwise due to wrong approach of the government. “The Students’ Council elections couldn’t be held and then the government asked universities to set up the body as per old process of nominations. But, that too has turned out to be futile exercise,” he said.

Terming the ceremony as mere symbolism, Dhage added, “We are used to such installation ceremonies in the presence of some big political leader. Nobody is serious now and that is the most unfortunate part.”

Senate member from graduates’ constituency said this is politicization of education and nepotism at its peak. “The entire council was formed in contravention of rules just to accommodate students belonging to colleges having backing of a particular organization close to power. The installed team won’t serve any purpose. It is misuse of the platform,” she said.

Nimbarte also claimed that the council leaders haven’t worked much for either the cause of students or university’s welfare.

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