February 3, 2009 1:59:30 am
Taking a serious view of incidents that rocked the University of Mumbai last week involving two student unions,the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) and the Samtawadi Chhatrabharati Sangathna (SCS),the university has decided to ban both for a year.
Last Tuesday,MNVS and Samtawadi Chhatrabharati activists damaged property and ransacked the registrars cabin. No sooner had the issue settled,than the MNVS carried out a controversial sting operation on Saturday in which an activist claimed to have exposed security lapses in the Central Assessment Programme (CAP) section of the examination department. One of its activists walked off with five answer sheets.
The university had countered the claims by alleging that the activist was accompanied by a senate member and hence was not stopped by the security staff.
At the management council meeting on Monday,members unanimously resolved that both the organisations be banned by the university authorities. Also,if any other organisation resorts to such acts,they should also be banned,the members resolved.
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Sameer Desai,a management council member,said about the ransacking incident,There are other democratic ways of protesting. Breaking somebodys cabin is not justified. The university has always encouraged students to come forward with their problems. The ones who carried out this act were not students,but party workers.
A committee constituted by the vice-chancellor following the incident has recommended that security be improved,special communication equipment be procured and staff be trained to respond to such situations.
Regarding the examination department controversy,the members tried to take the management to task by pointing out lacunae in the system.
The members also noted and objected to the suspicious role of a senate member suspected to have been involved in the sting operation and said that such an irresponsible act is unbecoming of a senate member. If he wanted to point out the problems,he could have confronted the vice-chancellor or other university authorities directly instead of helping in the sting operation, said a member,adding that the members have recommended that he be removed as senate member.
The members also suggested that professors invited for the evaluation work at the examination department be checked and the system be made foolproof.
A senior university official said,We have decided to claim damages from the organisations. The incident on Saturday was not a sting operation but a conspiracy involving a senate member. What happened in the past week is an insult to the university and its students. We have also decided to improve security
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