Debate over on-campus class resumption delay at college, varsity dominates SPPU Senate meet

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Delay in graduation of on-campus lectures at faculties and universities drove the Senate assembly debate at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Saturday. Facing irate members, the college administration declared {that a} choice could be taken inside 3-Four days concerning resuming offline courses.

Criticising the postponement to reopen faculties and universities for undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD college students at a time when faculty college students have returned to their lecture rooms, SPPU Senate members mentioned the delay is affecting not solely the scholars’ careers but in addition their psychological well being.

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On January 4, the college issued a round, stating that faculties and universities would resume offline lectures and associated features on January 11. However, on January 7, the administration withdrew the round, asking establishments to organize for the reopening as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) tips, withholding the date. The transfer adopted after the upper training division wrote to the college, demanding an evidence on what foundation it declared the date to renew offline lectures with out looking for the state authorities’s nod. The letter reminded the SPPU authorities that as per the UGC tips, universities ought to search nod from the state and native authorities earlier than resuming on-campus lectures to make sure college students’ security.

Criticising the “interference” into the choice to reopen faculties, Senate members termed the act as an “attack on the autonomy” of the college. “Malls, restaurants, bars and cinema halls have reopened. Our students can visit any of these whenever they want but when it comes to attending colleges, what is the resistance? The university announced that it would start on-campus lectures, but then it was forced to backtrack, this is an attack on the university’s autonomy,” mentioned Senate member Bhagyashree Manthalkar.

Read | UGC guidelines on reopening faculty: When are universities, faculties reopening in India?

Senate member Mahesh Abale mentioned, “Since January 4, schools have commenced classroom lectures for Classes IX to XII. Schoolchildren are minors but our students are adults. If younger students can return to campus, why not their seniors? Are school students immune to Covid-19?”

Several different Senate members steered that college students and their mother and father have demanded offline courses to be resumed and their sentiments must be revered. Pro-Vice-Chancellor NS Umrani replied to the questions raised at the controversy. “In March, when the nationwide lockdown was declared, we had our first meeting with principals and professors. There it was stressed that learning can’t stop. Hence, we created extensive e-contents and trained teachers to disseminate the lessons. At present, online lectures are on. On January 4, when a notification was issued to start offline lectures, a letter was received from the state government to clarify some technicality. We have contacted the disaster management authority. We do understand the impact of online classes on students’ mental health and career prospects, and we need to start on-campus lectures. Within 3-4 days, a decision will be taken in this regard,” he mentioned.

Among different points which rocked the controversy had been complaints on non-proctored on-line examination performed by SPPU. While it was identified that greater than 16,000 complaints had been acquired from college students concerning the exams and outcomes, Senate members questioned the choice to conduct such exams.

“The administration earlier said that they were asked to conduct non-proctored exams. Can they publicly state today, who gave those instructions?” requested Senate member Girish Bhawalkar. “There are videos on YouTube which feature how students can cheat in non-proctored online exams,” mentioned one other member Santosh Dhore. Yet one other member Abhishek Boke spoke about an alleged query within the mock take a look at concerning the love life of scholars. He referred to as such assessments “a mockery of the system”. Despite a number of complaints and damaging experiences put forth by the Senate members about on-line exams, the college administration didn’t tackle the problem.

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