Summer break likely to be cut, Mumbai univ may treat lockdown as ‘interim vacation’

Written by Abha Goradia
| Mumbai |

Updated: March 31, 2020 11:05:05 pm

Mumbai University, like many other non-agricultural state universities in Maharashtra will be declaring an interim vacation from April 1 to April 14. (File Photo)

Unlike previous years, the summer vacation for college and university teachers, as well as students, may be curtailed this year. Mumbai University, like many other non-agricultural state universities in Maharashtra will be declaring an interim vacation from April 1 to April 14.

If everything goes well, officials in the university plan to conduct exams soon after the lockdown ends and begin the upcoming academic year in June, as per its original schedule. A discussion to this effect took place at the varsity’s management council meeting held on Tuesday, which was conducted online for the first time in varsity’s history. However, no public announcement on this subject was made till the time of going to the press.

On Monday, Savitribai Phule Pune University also issued a circular announcing “interim” vacation from April 1 to April 14 in view of the prevailing covid-19 situation in the country. If required, the faculty members may be called to carry out essential work as per the need of the University or the college, the circular said. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Raigad, in a recent circular, announced a vacation period from March 15 till April 30, and has rescheduled dates for examination as well. Usually, teachers are given a vacation period of about five weeks and students have nearly two months of vacation.

Mumbai University may also opt for academic rescheduling and explore the possibility of starting the academic year ahead of time, said pro-vice chancellor Dr Ravindra Kulkarni, adding that a decision regarding this will be made in the varsity’s academic council meet.

Meanwhile, few members of the various state universities have written to higher and technical education minister Uday Samant regarding an extension of the date for submission of proposals. As per section 109 (4) of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, the universities are mandated to scrutinize and forward all applications for start of new courses of study, subjects, faculties, additional division or satellite centres received by it to the State government before or on 1st April every year. However, owing to the present situation of a lockdown, officials of universities have been unable to scrutinize applications on time.

While 96 proposals out of 169 received by the Mumbai University were forwarded to the higher education department on Tuesday evening, a committee was formed for scrutinizing the remaining proposals that were found to be deficient. The committee will now be making a report on these colleges, and the University will once again request the department to extend date for submission of proposals, an official from the university said. In the meeting held on Tuesday, the University also decided to pay incentive to its contract security personnel and gardeners for providing services despite the present situation, in the form of Rs10,000 to each worker.

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