Following a sustained agitation by students and professors against the suspension of Mumbai University’s professor, the administration on Saturday night had to revoke its decision by reinstating him.
Prof. Neeraj Hatekar of Department of Economics was suspended on January 4 for allegedly misinforming the media about the irregularities committed by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and hence breaching code of conduct. Ever since his suspension, several student organisations, teachers and political parties are protesting against the decision.
The decision to suspend Prof. Hatekar was reversed in a special meeting of varsity’s management council, which went on for 10 hours on Saturday night.
“I welcome the decision. However, my suspension was merely one of the issues that had aggrieved students. There are several other issues and we will continue to raise our voices against that,” he said, reacting after the varsity’s decision.
The varsity management however has reiterated its earlier stand claiming allegations made by Prof. Hatekar hold no merit and his suspension has been revoked only after considering “student welfare’ and ‘public outrage.’
In a press conference held on December 12, as part of a group called Joint Action Committee for Improvement of Higher Education, Prof Hatekar had levelled allegations such as failure to collect its share of annual student fees from colleges, several co-opted members on the boards of studies not being qualified, unusable lecture halls, malpractices in conduct of examinations and dilution of the qualifications for being a PhD guide. As a result he was suspended on January 4.
Ever since his suspension various student groups have protested against the decision. A delegation of Aam Adami Party (AAP) had even tried to meet the governor of Maharashtra K. Sankaranarayanan against the decision. Prof. Hatekar was even taking students’ classes on a footpath outside the varsity after students requested him to teach them.