Mumbai University and its affiliated colleges will cut short the Summer vacations to 13 days in this academic session from June 1, 2021, to June 13, 2021. The authority took this decision to ensure delays in the current academic session do not affect the next year.
The administration of Mumbai University has finally issued the academic calendar for 2020-21, after almost a term. The current academic year will finish on May 31, 2021, as opposed to the usual April 30, and the new semester is expected to begin from mid-June.
A university official stated, “A lot of thought has gone into making the academic calendar to ensure that this year’s delay has minimal impact on our next academic session. The current session started on August 7 this year instead of June, so it was expected to get extended by a month.”
He added that they would require the support of all stakeholders to make it happen. It was necessary to cut short the vacations to regularize the schedule.
However, the academic calendar may not be valid for first-year students in professional courses, including engineering, law, architecture, whose admissions are still ongoing. “For these courses, the term may be extended till August. These students are yet to join college, so a separate schedule may be considered later,” added an official.
Generally, the colleges provide a Christmas vacation of seven to eight days, while the summer vacation is for 36-50 days, depending on exams. Overall, the UGC norms permit colleges to give holidays of 10 weeks (or 70 days) in a given academic year.
A principal stated that these are uncertain times and rules need to be flexible. “A little compromise can be made to bring the academic schedule back to normalcy. It is better to cut down on vacation now than have a delayed start to the next year,” he further informed.
On the other hand, the academic calendar has not gone down well with the teachers’ community, who are shocked at the university’s ‘lackadaisical’ attitude towards the current year.
A representative of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union, which appealed to the chancellor, revealed, “They are issuing the calendar after almost one term is coming to an end. They also have scheduled exams for first-year arts, science, and commerce colleges in the first week of January, without completing the mandatory 90-day teaching period set by the UGC.”
The general secretary of Mumbai University and College Teachers’ Association, Subhash Athavale, disclosed that Principals of various colleges took advantage of the university’s mismanagement and further delayed in releasing the academic calendar.
“Many principals compelled their teachers to start taking online lectures for second and third-year classes in June. For them, not having a summer vacation will be unfair. The university has taken arbitrary decisions throughout the pandemic,” he informed.