INDIA. Mumbai: While the election of the senate of the Mumbai University is to be held soon, there are complaints of discrepancies in the voter registration form for the Senate Elections Teachers Constituency, leading to the exclusion of large numbers of teachers from the electoral roll.
The Senate is the university’s top statutory body, responsible for approving the varsity’s annual budget and strategic plan. It includes elected representatives of teachers, principals, and management representatives from university-affiliated colleges, as well as registered graduates of the university. There are 10 seats for college teachers and 3 seats for university teachers in the Senate.
Till now, 2306 applications have been approved and 1378 have been rejected, resulting in the names of thousands of teachers being dropped, the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU) has pointed out, in a letter dated April 3, to the Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai.
The enrolment of the voters for the said election commenced on October 14, 2022. On March 3, a provisional list was published, with the applications of only 2303 teachers approved and 1381 applications rejected. The teachers then complied with all the objections raised in the provisional list. On March 23, the corrected list was published, with 2306 applications approved and 1378 applications rejected. Thus, after the provisional list, only three more applications were added to the corrected list.
A majority of the applications were rejected on the ground that the approval granted by the university for the services of the teachers was not uploaded on the website while submitting the applications. Besides, the applications were rejected since the applicants did not upload their photos.
“The teachers claimed that their applications were wrongly rejected. Without attaching all the documents, the applicant cannot proceed with the final submission of their application. The forms were submitted with the approval of the principal. Therefore, by no stretch of the imagination, the applications of more than 1,000 teachers may be rejected,” BUCTU General Secretary Dr Madhu Paranjape told the Transcontinental Times.
The teachers visiting the website can see uploaded approval orders and photographs. Despite this, the applications were arbitrarily rejected. If the applicants can view their uploaded applications, it is not possible that the registrar or the university authorities cannot to view them.
“The approval is a document issued by the university itself. As such, the reason for the non-submission of the approval order, cannot be accepted. By no stretch of the imagination is it possible that 1378 teachers have incorrectly submitted their applications,” the BUCTU stated.
Rule 8 of the Uniform Statute No. 1 of 2017, stipulates that the registrar shall have the power to correct the electoral roll if any omissions or wrong entries are brought to his attention.
The BUCTU has urged the Vice Chancellor to include the names of teachers who have corrected and re-submitted their applications, after the publication of the provisional list. Also, publish a fresh list reconsidering all the rejected applications on flimsy ground. “If the requisite steps are not taken, then it will be constrained to take recourse to appropriate legal remedies,” the union stated.
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