Published On : Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013
Education / Latest News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

Students’ hunger strike exposes ugly face of varsity authorities in Nagpur


Nagpur News: Agitating students, increasing emotional gap between senior and junior students and an irreparable loss to academics have certainly developed cracks into the healthy education system in Nagpur colleges, thanks to dumbness of authorities in RSTM Nagpur University. Thousands of NU students have been protesting since the beginning of this month against university’s objectionable policies. Many students delegations met with University officials. All returned with promises that turned out be false in the later course. The strike has become the order of the day, it appears.

Academicians have restricted themselves to verbal explanations while the students are groping the dark. Engineering students have been observing hunger strike for more reasons than one. A state of confusion resulting from miscommunication has sidelined the actual concerns the students are facing.

More than just ‘carry on’!

Labeled as the agitation to push ‘carry on’ for the engineering students who fail to clear subjects in previous years, the movement has more issues than just this one. The major concern is about slow pace of valuation and re-valuation, the crucial factors that play key role in any academic session of the students. The constant delay has made the students beating about the bush and helplessly let go their precious educational year. No authority bothered to pay due concerns towards this emergent factor. Moreover, no control has been practiced over the rising college fees across years, which points to the connivance of university authorities and private colleges particularly run by political stalwarts. NU also has perhaps the highest examination fee in the country and estimates show the university has earned more than Rs 22 crores of profit from a single examination session.

Theory lacks purpose

The demand for carry on cropped from the fact that every year large number of students face the problem of sticking in the theoretical part, piling up the backlog of subjects. The situation is more evident among the engineering students who appear for the first semester. However, the proportion is equally increasing through all the semesters. Experts are of the view that there is an urgent need to restructure the examination pattern which carries majority of marks for theory and too little is passed on for practical. “In the machinery streams like engineering, too much emphasis and marks on theory would not serve any purpose post the course. It is practical that pays in the long run and current marking scheme should be reversed to allow practicability of these engineering courses,” commented a former student from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology. He added, “Even the engineering students writing exams know how it pinches to write the non-productive theory in the answer sheet. The courses should be made career friendly. This would certainly save the students to cry over ‘carry on’. Even they would be able to come out as efficient engineers once they walk out of college gates.”

Varsity whims past UGC guidelines

Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) has consistently failed to follow mandatory UGC and other guidelines regarding timely and accurate valuation and revaluation of examination papers. The valuation process which should be completed in 45 days takes as long as 80 to 90 days, forcing all students of the University to take provisional admission to the next session. Revaluation results are declared towards the end of the next session or even later, always causing immense Academic harm to NU students. This piles up backlog of subjects, which put the academic year of many of the students at risk.

Shifting colleges to Gondwana university

In a letter to the Governor Shankarnarayan, the students’ organization STON has alleged that NU is also attempting to forcibly migrate students to Gondwana University, in cases where their colleges are being so transferred. These traps of the University’s creation will make it impossible for many students to complete their Engineering Education. After repeated disappointment, seventeen students sat on Indefinite fast at RBI Sqr Nagpur on the 23rd of August, and 10 (ten) of them are still continuing with their fast now into its 12th  straight day. Their health has deteriorated and several of them have been hospitalized for varying periods during this time. They are however resolved to continue with their fast despite the clear danger to their lives

VC applies pressure tactics

It is learnt that Vice-Chancellor Vilas Sapkal attempted to pressurize two student members of a delegation by summoning their principal, who directed them to apologize to the Vice-Chancellor. It was unclear for what the apology was sought. Even the colleges are implying pressure rules over the students to break the agitation. A student said, “I have been literally threatened by a principal of my college about joining the strike. He warned me that if I join the protest I will be expelled for rest of the term. A divide is being created among the students to break their unity.

STON clears air over its political connection

Steering clear of his political ambitions STON’s Coordinator Bhushan Hete has informed that that STON is a student organization and is not linked to any political party. He clarified, “While we sought the support of all parties and groups in our ‘Satyagraha’, several of these parties and individuals have attempted to use STON’s platform for their own benefit while simultaneously trying to damage and break STON’s movement in collusion with University officials. These efforts culminated in the farcical celebrations by some of these groups on the 29th of August, when the Vice Chancellor briefly visited our protest site along with an ex-politician looking to resurrect his career. Alas, the Vice Chancellor did not even look at the fasting students even on that date and left the site after offering only a brief and irrelevant commentary which left most of our issues un-addressed.”