THE CAMPUS of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) now wears a deserted look as the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has brought teaching and learning activities to a grinding halt. However, despite the challenges, students from the department of history observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule on April 11, celebrated with great enthusiasm each year, by setting up a zoom meeting call in which 25 of them joined in from their homes.
Students paid their respects to Mahatma Phule at the beginning of the programme, following which four faculty members delivered short speeches.
Head of department Prof Shraddha Kumbhojkar underlined the need to commemorate Mahatma Phule’s ideology, especially in present times as the society was facing two challenges – the coronavirus pandemic and communal hatred. She underlined the fact that the founding members of Phule’s Satyashodhak Samaj belonged to Hindu, Muslim as well as Jewish faiths, and the closest colleague of Savitribai Phule was Fatimabi Shaikh.
She said, “When Phule had specifically mentioned the need to be compassionate towards Christians, Muslims, Mangs and Brahmins, too, it is evident that he did not care for labels based on where people were born. Phule’s message is that of holding hands, and it will be a true homage to his memory if we stay together and do not fall prey to religious hatred in these trying times.”
Prof Babasaheb Dudhbhate said Phule’s ideas did not receive due recognition for many years even after his death. Prof Devkumar Ahire talked about the need to take inspiration from Phule’s vision of a nation, which gives equal space to citizens from all strata. Prof Rahul Magar discussed the importance of Phule’s ideas of unity in a country such as India.
As many as 25 students from Amravati, Buldhana, Latur, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Pune joined in to pay homage to Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.
SPPU V-C discusses possibilities of holding exams in video-conference with college principals
Written by Alifiya Nalwala
Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Vice Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar recently held a video conference with principals of all affiliated colleges in Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar to discuss the possibilities of conducting exams. A clip of the video conference has gone viral on WhatsApp.
“We discussed three different scenarios depending on the extent of the lockdown period. The general consensus was that instead of the traditional theory paper, we should opt for multiple choice questions, at least in part. This would ensure that the students spend lesser time at exam centres,” Karmalkar told The Indian Express.
Karmalkar is part of the four-member committee of vice chancellors across the state who have been tasked with deciding the fate of examinations by the higher and technical education ministry. The committee’s report is yet to be submitted.
Conducting part of exams online and assessment through projects and submissions were also some of the ideas discussed. Besides that, various suggestions were made regarding evaluation, such as forming a cluster of colleges and no CAP, among others.
But Karmalkar clarified that these are only suggestions and the final decision will be taken by the state government, which will be followed by state universities.
Video conference clip viral; don’t believe in WhatsApp forwards, says SPPU
Meanwhile, a clip of the video conference meeting featuring Karmalkar and college heads has gone viral in which they are seen discussing the different scenarios. The forwarded message accompanying the clip has listed the details of the discussion, stating that if the lockdown is extended for 10 days, then the pattern is 50 per cent MCQs, one sentence answer and 50 per cent internal assessment. If the lockdown will be extended up to May 15 or further, then pattern is 100 per cent MCQs, according to the message.
The forwarded messages have created anxiety among students, who are waiting for an official announcement over exam dates. Alerted to the leak, the university administration issued an official clarification. “Only a part of the discussion with principals has been leaked. It is not the final decision. The state government will decide the fate of examinations and the university will follow the same. The vice chancellor will not use Facebook or any other social media page to make the announcement and the same will be displayed on the university website,” the university said a press statement.