Lectures outside Mumbai University campus enter day 2

Suspended professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar delivered his lecture outside the Kalina campus gate to 11 students of an elective subject yesterday

Dr Neeraj Hatekar’s lectures outside the Kalina campus of Mumbai University (MU) continued yesterday, with around 11 students attending the lesson on non-parametric estimation. The number of students was considerably low compared to Day 1, but only because a lecture was being given on a topic that is part of the syllabus for Multiple Linear Regression, which is an elective subject for MA Part II students.

Students said they were grateful towards Professor Hatekar for conducting the lectures and clearing their doubts. Pic/Amit Jadhav
Students said they were grateful towards Professor Hatekar for conducting the lectures and clearing their doubts. Pic/Amit Jadhav

The lecture was held at the same spot as on Tuesday, outside the main gate of the campus. According to the students, the lecture was conducted without any of the disturbances that had been caused by the media presence on Tuesday. The lecture started at 9 am and continued for one-and-a-half hours. The lecture was conducted for Part II students, who are in their fourth semester, pursuing the Master of Arts course.

Hatekar, who is a professor in Econometrics in the Economics Department of Mumbai University, was suspended on January 4 for conducting a press conference where he railed against the mismanagement rife in the university administration, and accused Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar of violating several university norms. His students, who were missing out on his lectures, had requested him to resume the classes, and he obliged (Suspended Mumbai University professor takes lecture on footpath,’ January 15).

Professor Hatekar said, “The lecture took place smoothly without any disturbance. After my suspension, students had missed two weeks of their lectures, so we will hold the sessions every day, alternating between mornings and afternoons. I heard that the university is also arranging for professors to teach subjects that I used to teach.”

Meanwhile, senior professors from various universities, and teachers’ associations of the universities of Jalgaon and Aurangabad have requested the chancellor and the vice-chancellor of Mumbai University to withdraw the suspension. They have expressed their strong displeasure at the action taken by the university against Hatekar, without giving him a chance to defend himself. Teachers from numerous departments in MU have also expressed their solidarity with Professor Hatekar.


Students speak
The lecture went smoothly outside the Kalina campus. There was no pressure from anyone to not attend, nor did families prevent students from attending the lecture because of the controversy surrounding it. We are glad that he is coming to teach us outside the campus. - Soumya Deepdatta

We are happy that Sir has come to our rescue. The lecture went on smoothly and we are clearing our doubts with Sir. Since the topic was from an elective subject today, the student turnout was low. As there are around 12 students for the subject Multiple Linear Regression, only 11 came to attend the lecture. The lectures may happen twice a week for us, as per the time table that we follow in the university. - Rinku Shrivastav

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