Following requests from students, suspended Mumbai University professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar will conduct a lecture outside the varsity entrance Tuesday afternoon.
Hatekar was suspended on January 4 on grounds of ‘moral turpitude’, ‘violation of code of conduct’ and ‘misguiding media’.
Hatekar teaches microeconomics II to students in semester II of Masters in Arts (Economics) and multiple linear regression and its Extension (a technique in econometrics) to semester IV students. Microeconomics II is a compulsory subject while the other is elective. The total strength of students in these two batches is 118. Lectures on these subjects have not been held since Hatekar’s suspension.
“We are suffering substantial academic loss. MA Economics is a credit based course and a minimum of 72 credits are required to clear it. Exams are conducted every six weeks. The university administration did not plan for the academic implications Professor Hatekar’s suspension would have on us,” said a student.
Another student said, “He (Hatekar) is one of the best teachers for these subjects. His suspension would affect the students the most as these subjects are fundamentals in economics and improve students’ potential for research and employability.”
According to students, the Department of Economics (autonomous), University of Mumbai, also wrote to the Vice-Chancellor on January 7 seeking advice about corrective measures so that students don’t have to face academic loss. However, it has not received any official reply.
Dr Naresh Chandra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of MU, said, “We cannot take any action against what happens outside the university gates. We are concerned about students and will ensure that they do not suffer any academic loss. We will ask the head of the economics department to arrange for a substitute and conduct lectures.”