University of Mumbai's panel cleared Rohinton Mistry's novel Such A Long Journey for inclusion in the Bachelor of Arts (English) second year syllabus without even reading it, a top university official has said.
"The members of the Board of Studies in charge of selecting and preparing the syllabus had not read Mistry's book before recommending it for the BA syllabus," university Vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar told PTI here today.
"I had a detailed discussion with the members of the Board of Studies and I was told that they had not read the book when they recommended it," he said.
"It took two minutes for the Board of Studies to approve the book for the BA syllabus three years ago, but it took two hours for dropping it from the syllabus last month," Welukar said.
"I informed Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Governor and Chancellor of the Universities K Sankaranarayanan that none of the members of the Board had read the book before approving it," he said.
"I fail to understand why this issue has been given a political colour as the exercise was undertaken purely in the academic interest and for students interests," he added.
The University dropped the Booker nominated novel following objections by Shiv Sena students' wing which alleged that it 'poorly represented' the saffron party.
"The Board approved (the novel's inclusion) and they cannot go back on that and should take responsibility," said a senior member of the Bombay University and College Teachers' Union.
The Board is a statutory body with six members who are department heads from colleges and also a member from the respective department of the University, who is the ex-officio member.
The panel can also have two experts chosen by them from outside. However, for syllabus preparation, only three members are chosen, university sources said.
Varsity Panel Included Mistry Book Without Reading It: VC
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