Name Game

The possibility of UoP taking on a new name has set off a chain of reactions from students and professors alike.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: November 12, 2013 5:59:28 am

As the Governor of the State of Maharashtra mulls the proposal to change the name of University of Pune to Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule Pune Vidyapeeth,battlelines have been drawn — with students opposing the move hammer and tongs. The Facebook page titled “Do Not Rename University Of Pune”,which has hit over 9,000 likes since it was came into being on October 29,has become a forum for students to anonymously express their opinions about the proposal.

While a post on the page reads,“The name UoP has become a brand. If the name is changed it will confuse people and lead to hassles. Moreover,the success of any institute depends on its infrastructure and faculty and not on its name. So great efforts should be taken on that front and stop wasting time and energy on this one,” posts a student.

Another post reads,“The officials should take decisions about making syllabus relevant to the industry and how to check the papers efficiently without any delay in results. Instead,they are busy changing the name of the university.”

The proposal is a matter of concern for students who plan to apply to universities abroad. Divya Jacob,a student of Fergusson College,is against the move. “It’s simply ridiculous. Changing the name of the university to Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule Pune Vidyapeeth is only going to amount to more chaos and confusion,especially for students who will be passing within the next couple of years,” says 20-year-old Jacob.

Snehal Bisht,who is currently pursuing a post graduation degree in Psychology from the University of Pune,questions the basis of the proposal. “I personally feel they should not change the name of the university. What good will that do? Pune University,over the years,has created a reputation for itself. Changing the name will only result in confusion,” says 23-year-old Bisht.

While the students are fighting the move,professors at the university have mixed feelings about the proposal. Professor Shubhangi Bahulikar,Head of Department (Performing Arts),does not feel that changing the name will particularly affect her. Yet,weighing the pros and cons,she says,“On one hand people know the name of University of Pune all over world and attribute it to certain standards. The proposed name honours a woman and her feats,but we have to think practically of the importance of education in itself. It is the institution that gives quality education. However,on the other hand if the name were to be changed,people will accept it over time,” she says.

Advising students who are applying to foreign universities not to fret about the matter,Zamer Kamble,Head of Department of German,says it is not important which university one studies from but how much one learns there. “If students feel that there is a certain amount of prestige attached to the name of University of Pune,I think that it will be increased if the name is connected to Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule. She was a reformer in the field of education and represents the history of education of Maharashtra. If anything at all,the quality of our education system will be under more pressure to match up to the name of Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule,” says Kamble.

He adds,“Just today I read about how all the universities abroad will not be discriminating against universities across the world. It is all standardised.”

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