Mumbai University: MSc students told to take exam on Jan 23 without any lectures
More than 2,000 postgraduate chemistry and microbiology students, who have not had a single class since the current semester started on November 1, have demanded postponement
Yet again, Mumbai University (MU) has proved that it is more interested in testing students' patience, rather than teaching them anything. Nearly three months after the semester began, the varsity has still not held a single lecture for MSc candidates pursuing chemistry and microbiology. Instead, MU has announced that examinations will begin from January 23, throwing hundreds of students into utter panic. As many as 120 microbiology students and 2,000 chemistry students have been left in a state of shock after the university asked them to pick up their hall tickets for the exams, even though not a single lecture has been held.
Not the first time
Interestingly, the exams had already been postponed once for the same reason. "Our semester began on November 1, and MU had declared that exams would begin on December 26. But no lectures had been held, so it was impossible for us to appear for exams. After constant follow-up with MU authorities, we managed to get exams postponed to January 23," said a student from Patkar college. "At the time, we had assumed that since the university was aware of the lack of classes, the problem would be resolved. But now, the exam date is approaching again, and the varsity has not even announced the lecture schedule," he added.
For these masters courses, practical sessions are held at individual colleges where students have taken admission. Theory lectures, on the other hand, are held collectively for the entire batch as per a schedule declared by the varsity. These lectures are conducted by different professors at various colleges across the city. This year, after the admissions, the university failed to declare the lecture schedule.
Students take action
The panicked students decided to take matters into their own hands, and organise an informal series of lectures with the help of professors. "How can we appear for the exams without any theory knowledge? While we are regularly following the three-day practical sessions in our respective colleges, lectures have to be held for theory. Even now, when we are pointing out the lapse to the varsity, instead of realising their mistake, they are adamant on continuing with the exams as per schedule. They have even issued hall tickets," said a student from Birla college.
Students have now persuaded their professors to hold at least a few classes, in case MU refuses to postpone the exams. "It is all informal; this is our desperate attempt to study, as the varsity has still not bothered to declare lectures," said another student. These classes began on January 18.
Letter to VC
Pradeep Sawant, former MU senate member who is part of Yuva Sena, said, "We have submitted a letter to Mumbai University's vice-chancellor, requesting that the examinations be postponed. We are also in talks with several varsity authorities because the students are in complete panic mode now, especially after they were asked to collect hall tickets. Varsity officials have assured us that they will consider the issue after reviewing the situation. We await a positive response."
Dr Arjun Ghatule, director of examinations and evaluations, said, "I have received the request letter from students, and we will consider it. The examinations section declared the exam date based on the starting date of the semester. We are not aware of the status of lectures."
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