AT A time University of Mumbai’s Vice-Chancellor, Sanjay Deshmukh, currently on forced leave, faces severe criticism for introducing an onscreen assessment system, the Academic Council (AC) Wednesday congratulated him for the decision.
While the matter was not on the agenda of the AC meeting held Wednesday afternoon, a motion to congratulate Deshmukh was proposed by one of the members of the council, said an official who attended the meeting. “The motion was supported by other members and a resolution passed thereafter,” said the official, requesting anonymity. “Members of the AC congratulated the decision to adopt onscreen assessment system taken under the guidance of Dr Deshmukh,” he said. This means the resolution will find a mention in the minutes of meeting of the AC, unless the acting V-C decides otherwise.
Acting V-C Devenand Shinde, who chairs the AC, said no ‘official decision’ has been taken to congratulate Deshmukh. “The matter was not on the agenda. There was no official decision. Every informal discussion is not a decision,” Shinde told The Indian Express. Deshmukh was sent on forced leave by Chancellor and Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao after the former faced flak over delay in results from students, opposition parties and the government. He was blamed for hastily implementing the new process that led to an unprecedented delay in declaration of results. This year, the results were delayed by almost three months as the varsity was not prepared for the transition from manual to onscreen assessment.
A resolution to congratulate Deshmukh has not been received well by teachers. In a meeting with the acting V-C teachers’ groups raised the matter. “He told us a resolution was not passed but the matter came up for discussion. Why should a decision that put the future of so many students in jeopardy be congratulated? Why should it even come up for discussion?” said Vaibhav Narwade, a teacher. “We condemn such a resolution or discussion as it is disrespectful to the Chancellor. We have demanded that those who proposed and supported the motion be reported to the chancellor.”