Monday dawned, bringing with it disappointment for some TYBSc Zoology students from Kirti College, Dadar. Degree college professors and members of Bombay University College Teacher’s Union (BUCTU) staged a protest against non-payment of arrears for the period 2006-2010 from the state by not allowing the external examiner to conduct the practical exams of TYBSc Zoology.
As many as 10 colleges in the city could not conduct the practical exam due to the same reason. Around 3,000 degree colleges and BUCTU members in the city from Colaba to Sindhudurg district are protesting the government’s apathy towards their demands. Fourteen students had come to Kirti College at 8 am but had to return home at 1 pm without sitting for their exam. Irked with the situation, the external examiner, Manisha Kayande, a professor of MD College, called in the cops.
“The BUCTU teachers were only protesting the practical examination,” said Dr Rohini Sivabalan, vice president of BUCTU. “Professor Manisha Kayande, who is also a political activist, called the police, telling them that HSC exams were being affected to stop us from protesting. We don’t want to trouble students but we are fighting for our rights. On one hand, activists support us during varsity meetings and then they stop us from protesting. The state is not claiming arrears from Centre. What if tomorrow the government changes?”
The complainant, Kayande, said, “I was there to conduct the practical exam. However, the degree college professors did not allow me to enter the laboratory premises. I called the Dadar police because principal V N Magre was not supporting me.” When contacted, V N Magre was unavailable for comment.
DG Wasave, controller of examinations, University of Mumbai, said, “10 colleges could not conduct their TYBSc practicals. A meeting was held at 11 am at University of Mumbai and teachers and principals were requested to cooperate with the university to conduct practical exams. The exam will be conducted again for those who were not able to sit for it.”
Senior Inspector, Dadar police station, Prakash Patil, said, “We received a call saying that the HSC examination were getting affected due to a protest. When I went with my team, I found the information to be wrong. The BUCTU teachers were not letting the external examiner conduct practicals for TYBSc. We returned without registering a case as there was no complaint against the teachers.”