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SPPU: Staffers’ protest hits university work, final-year exams pushed to October 12

The protesting employees have been demanding the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission and the cancellation of a promotion scheme that the state government has started.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune | Updated: October 2, 2020 10:38:21 am
maharashtra final year exams, sppu, sppu exams, sppu teachers protest, sppu teachers 7 pay commission, indian express newsEven staffers working at the vice-chancellor's office were made to stop work, confirmed Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar. (File)

The final-year degree exams of both backlog and fresher students of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has been delayed further, with university authorities now saying the exams for backlog students will begin from October 12.

While the state government had instructed universities to conduct exams from October 1, the SPPU had, in its last circular, intimated students that the backlog exams will begin from October 5 and regular students will take their exams from October 15.

Read | Maharashtra: Non-teaching employees withdraw strike after assurance from minister

However, with only a few days to go before the exams, and neither a timetable nor a question bank provided to students, the university has finally decided on conducting exams from October 12.

Mahesh Kakade, director of the Board of Examinations and Evaluation, said the timetable of two faculties, Pharmacy and Law, will soon be uploaded on the university’s website. “We also have the timetables for other faculties ready, we will upload them phase-wise. Exams for backlog students will begin on October 12, followed by exams for regular students, and we will finish conducting all exams by October 31.”

Responding to the inordinate delay in declaring the timetable, university authorities blamed it on multiple factors. They said the tender process for appointing a single vendor to conduct online examinations for the 2.5 lakh-odd students online was yet to be finalised, and this was one of the main reasons behind the delay.

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However, the more serious and pressing issue at the moment is the ongoing strike by SPPU employees — mainly officers and non-teaching staff — which has paralysed work at the university. While initially the employees refrained from work themselves, things turned ugly on Wednesday as they coerced other workers to stop work and vacate their departments.

Even staffers working at the vice-chancellor’s office were made to stop work, confirmed Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar.

The protesting employees have been demanding the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission and the cancellation of a promotion scheme that the state government has started.

Read | Here’s how IITs, IIMs are planning to get jobs for their students in Covid-hit economy

V-C Karmalkar, however, said he hopes for a resolution soon. “I have spoken to the Chancellor of the university and also with the higher authorities. This strike is affecting our work and we need it to be resolved as soon as possible to concentrate on exam work for students,” he said.

Asked about the timetable for students, he said it would be uploaded in a phase-wise manner from Thursday on the university website.

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