INDIA: While the election of the senate of the Mumbai University is barely a few days away, different teachers’ bodies have pointed out improper locations of polling stations that are unsuitable for voters, which will result in a drop in voting percentage.
The senate elections are scheduled to be held on July 5 at 282 polling stations (in colleges and institutes) attached to 28 Polling centres selected by the university. 3091 voters have enrolled themselves for the election.
The Senate is the university’s top statutory body, responsible for approving the university’s annual budget and strategic plan. It has 39 odd members, including elected representatives of teachers, principals, and management representatives from university-affiliated colleges. There are 10 seats for college teachers and 3 seats for university teachers in the Senate.
However, the polling stations are located in odd places. For example, the voters from KMC College, Khopoli (Raigad), will have to vote at Agrawal College, Kalyan, around 70 km away from the college, although there is a polling station close to the college at Konkan Gyanpeeth. Similarly, Gharda College, Chiplun (Ratnagiri), has been allotted the polling station at Dapoli, 60 km away, although there is a polling station at Chiplun (Ratnagiri).
Also, the names of some of the colleges are missing, despite the fact that they have polling stations. They include: Sterling College, Narul, Navi Mumbai-03 Polling Stations; Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune-04 Polling Stations; Sardar Patel College, Andheri-02 Polling Stations; Pillai College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai-03 Polling Stations; and Vivekanand College, Chembur-02 Polling Stations.
Due to this, voters may not turn out at these polling stations, Dr. Subhash Athavale, General Secretary of the Mumbai University and College Teachers’ Association (MUCTA), said.
There have been 30 polling centres in 2018. Now, despite growth in the number of colleges, the university has brought down the number of polling centres to 25. It was only after we took up the matter that three polling centres have been added, thus taking the number of polling centres to 28. Yet the distance between the polling centres is vast.
This will eventually lead to low polling, Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU) General Secretary Dr. Madhu Paranjape told the Transcontinental Times.
The teachers’ bodies were already engaged in a dispute with the university since a large number of voters were excluded from the electoral rolls.
In the meantime, BUCTU has announced its panel for the Senate election for teachers (10): Woman (1): Polamuri Shanti (Maharashtra College, Mumbai Central); Scheduled Caste (1)
Kadam Somnath (Kankavli College, Sindhudurg), Scheduled Tribe: (1) Dakhore Sakharam (Annasaheb Vartak College, Vasai), Denotified Tribes/Nomadic Tribes: (1) Khemnar Jagannath (N.G. Acharya & D.K. Marathe College, Chembur), Other Backward Class: (1) Sutar Hanumant (Loknete Gopinath Munde College, Mandangad, Ratnagiri).
Open category (5 seats): Kulkarni Chandrashekhar (Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Bandra, Mumbai), More Ankush (Sonubhau Baswant College, Shahapur, Thane), Shinde Umesh (K.J. Somaiya Institute of Engineering & Information Technology, Sion), Hanegave Satyawan (K. J. Somaiya College of Arts & Commerce, Vidyavihar, Mumbai), and Jha Jeetendernath (R. Jhunjhunwala College, Ghatkopar, Mumbai).
BUCTU Candidates for Academic Council Election: 1. “Science & Technology” (Scheduled Caste-Sonawale Sanjay, Kirti M. Doongursee College, Dadar, Mumbai). Open Category: Sarode Tanuja (Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Bandra) and “Humanities”: Open Category: Nikam Madhavi (R. K. Talreja College, Ulhasnagar).