After two major student agitations on campus in the last two weeks, the administration of the University of Pune (UoP) has set up two special committees to address student grievances.
The committees will focus on tackling issues related to the hostel, refectory and library, since matters related to these facilities resulted in the recent unrest.
While one committee is permanent in nature and will deal with issues students have on a day-to-day basis, the other will be submitting its report in a month to decide on a roadmap for long-term policy decisions.
The go-to men
Dr Sanjeev Sonavne, UoP’s management council member, is chairperson of the permanent committee. The chief rector, the hostel in-charge, the librarian, the estate officer and the refectory committee head are the other members of the committee.
If the committee faces any hurdles, it will directly approach the V-C. “Now onwards, students need not have to agitate on campus,” UoP Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade said. “If they encounter problems related to any department of the varsity, they just need to file a complaint with the committee and an immediate solution will be found and implemented.”
The other committee has been constituted under the university’s Board of College and University Department (BCUD) director Dr V B Gaikwad. Gaikwad said he would hold a meeting with the newly constituted committee shortly to decide on the future line of action on student facilities.
The V-C said the Gaikwad committee was expected to submit its final report in the management council meeting. “The BCUD director’s committee will mainly focus on long-term plans like expansion of hostel and how to maintain quality of refectory food,” Gade said. “The committee will submit its final report in the next management council meeting.
” On August 22, students protested against an assistant professor of the physical education department of the UoP, claiming he had acted inappropriately with female students. Taking serious note of the matter, a three-member committee was set up to look into the claims and a report is expected next week.
Then, on August 25, an agitation ensued after a student found an insect in the food served by the university refectory. The UoP constituted another committee to investigate the matter.
With increasing incidents of student agitations, the UoP decided to tackle all future issues by constituting one permanent committee.
“Forming a committee on a permanent basis to address student problems is a truly positive step,” a student who participated in a recent protest said. “Till now, we didn’t have such a body to share our problems with.”