Sunday, March 26, 2023

An university with difference


By Prof. Vivek Singh

There was a time when the University of Mumbai was famous all over the world. Today circumstances have changed. Though Mumbai University and problems have very good relationship but a recent decision of the university surprised people. Recently the university issued a circular and cut short the summer vacation of teachers from 1st June 2021 to 13th June 2021 i.e. 13 days. It has been cited that summer vacation are being cut due to Covid-19, as lectures started late in the university. The fact is that the second and third year lectures of the academic year 2020-2021 were started by the colleges from June 2020.

This can be verified from hundreds of colleges which are affiliated with the University of Mumbai. When classes were started regularly from June 2020, how could the summer vacation be cut to 13 days? The university had not yet released the academic calendar. The academic calendar was created in a hurry. The facts were ignored. The university released a academic calendar to complete its duty.

Even assuming academic year and classes started late, the deduction of summer holidays is neither practical nor rational. The first semester is over. Classes can be started by 1st January 2021 and the syllabus can be completed by 24th April 2021. Students are getting more than 90 working days for lectures. Examinations can be held from 26th April 2021 to 5th May 2021. Summer vacation can be granted from 11th May 2021 to 19th June 2021. Several years after mid-June, the academic year has started in the university. The academic year 2021-22 can be started easily from June 21, 2021.

The University of Mumbai was established 163 years ago in the year 1857. It was a well-known university in the country, but unfortunately the situation has changed today due to the policies and working of the university. The University of Mumbai received an ‘A’ grade in 2012 from NAAC, which ended in April 2017. Even after 3 years, SSR of Mumbai University has not been uploaded. The university is not receiving grants of crores of rupees from UGC.

University rankings have been steadily falling. According to NIRF’s 2020 ranking of universities, Jawaharlal Nehru University was ranked second, Banaras Hindu University third. Kolkata University ranks 7th, Savitribai Phule Pune University 9th, Delhi University 11th, Madras University 22nd and Mumbai University 65th. The University of Mumbai was ranked 95th in the overall NIRF 2020 rankings.

The 165-year-old university, which is among the first three established universities in India, got the 801-1000 ranking in the World University Rankings 2020. The Times Higher Education World ranking 2021, University ranked 1001+ while as per Asia World University Rankings 2020, University ranked 305-350. The rankings are a statement of the status and condition of the university. By looking at the ranking, the functioning of the university can be understood very well.

(Author is a famous columnist and thinker, Political, Social and Economic Analyst. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])

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