The Fall of Faculty Forum

The students entered the college unaware of what had transpired between the teaching staff and management and why did the professors go on a strike. The reason was known, but not to all. The meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) was held on 26 November 2015. The next one, which was scheduled 17 December 2015, never took place. So what happened in the last meeting? 

The introduction of the biometric attendance system for the professors in the lecture theatres was one of the most significant decisions taken at the last meeting. The proposal met stiff opposition from the Faculty Forum, which saw it as a threat to its authority. They objected to the introduction and implementation of the system. But the biometric systems were installed in January as decided at the BOG meeting. 

The new session brought about a lot of changes. The students were still wondering the reason for installation of biometric systems. The professors were not of much help in this matter. Only when the news broke that the council of the professors, Faculty Forum, had been dissolved by MHRD that it became clear. The dissolution of the forum had its origins in the protest against the biometric system and also the vigilant activities against the Director of the college. 

Most of the students were clueless as to what had happened, and those who knew didn’t know why and the few who knew a bit about it, thought it serves the faculty right as they had been against the formation of a students’ union or, at least, a student welfare committee. Few others were of the opinion that bringing in the biometric system was an unfair idea. 

The professors maintained a stoic silence on the issue. Some of them were not bothered to drag themselves in the matter which had assumed political undertones while others didn’t want their name to be dragged in this row. There were a few of them who were brave enough to come out in the open and let their opinion known to one and all.

A newly joined professor, Tushar Jain said, “It is quite sad that the matter has assumed this proportion. The dissolution is wrong. It violates the sanctity of the learned and underplays them.”

There were others who begged to differ. Shashank Garg, an ad hoc professor, said, “What happened is right as I feel that there is no need for these forums and councils in the first place as they are the breeding ground of dirty politics. It creates a divide among the members and is a good thing we got rid of it.”

They favoured installation of the biometric systems to regulate the teaching hours.

Both of them agreed on one thing, though. “If there has to be a forum, it should stay true to its mandate and be transparent in its operations.”

The future of the faculty forum seems uncertain for now, and it will have its work cut out when it comes into existence again. 

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