Indian Campus Indian Campus Media

Archaeology students in Mumbai University left in the lurch

Shared classrooms for MA students; visiting faculty keep show running

Almost six months after the University of Mumbai (MU) announced a department in archaeology, the city’s first batch of students pursuing MA in archaeology have hardly any resources at their disposal. While the academic council and management council approved the formation of a department of archaeology in May, the department is yet to be formed. Currently, the two-year MA course is being hosted by the Centre for Archaeology, which is in turn a part of the Centre for Extra Mural Studies (CEMS).

This is the first time that any institute is offering an MA in archaeology course in Mumbai and, in its first batch, the course has already attracted 23 students. However, the course is running on bare-minimum resources of the CEMS and a host of visiting faculties. The course is being held by one associate professor, as per UGC guidelines, and a better number of classes are being taken by visiting faculties. With no assigned classrooms and infrastructure, students share classrooms with other students of the CEMS. Mugdha Karnik, the director of CEMS, said: “We were told that a department would be formed and the course would be offered by the department. However, so far, that has not happened. We have not been able to appoint teaching staff either and classes have to be scheduled as per the availability of the visiting faculties.”

She said the CEMS was doing its best to teach the students with the limited resources but things would become more difficult from next year. “When the first batch will graduate to the MA Part II course in 2018 and a fresh batch comes in, it will be very difficult to take classes,” she said. Despite repeated attempts, the university officials remained unavailable for comments. In May this year, the then Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had announced that a department would be created to run the MA course. Prior to that, the best option for aspirants was the Deccan College in Pune.