Drought hits academic terrain

Time table of 450 polytechnic institutes tweaked

In a direct impact of the drought in Maharashtra on the education sector this year, the time-table of the second term of more than 450 polytechnic institutes in the state has been tweaked by the Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) to battle the water crisis.

MSBTE, which conducts examinations and declares results of polytechnics, has asked these institutes to shrink the second term by a week and conclude the final written examinations in two weeks by April 21. The examinations were earlier scheduled to end by May 9.

The board also announced that students need have to appear for examinations of two papers on single day for some part of the final examination.

Importantly, teaching and non-teaching staff of polytechnics have been asked to work even on Saturdays and Sundays and for two hours extra each day until term-end to ensure the stipulated minimum of 90 days of working to achieve the deadlines set as per the revised time table.

As per official records, MSBTE has around 489 affiliated polytechnic institutes for Engineering/ Technology which have 14,6,841 seats.

Speaking to Newsline, MSBTE director PM Khodke said polytechnics from at least half-a-dozen districts in Maharashtra were facing acute water shortage by December-end and the overall situation was likely to worsen in summer.

"We have rescheduled the time table of second-term of polytechnics in the wake of the water crisis. There are polytechnics from districts such as Beed, Jalna, Osmanabad, Nanded, Solapur and Nanded where drinking water is not available in institutes. Authorities concerned are not able to supply water to students in hostels. The situation is going to turn grim and therefore we have decided to alter the time table," he said.

Khodke said a special squad would be formed to verify whether affiliated polytechnics have taken measures like working on weekend days.

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