The University of Mumbai has dropped the idea of buying an aircraft after objections from various quarters forced the university to have a rethink about it. The result, the university will not be buying the aircraft; instead, will be using the aircrafts of Bombay Flying Club with which it signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday evening.
Earlier this year in February, the vice-chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh had announced that the university intended to buy an aircraft for the yet-to-be-launched course in BSc (aviation and commercial flying) at the Garware Institute of Career Education and Development at the Kalina campus in collaboration with the Bombay Flying Club (BFC).
However, there were objections from various student organisations and academic groups criticising the futility of buying an aircraft and wasting university funds for the purpose. In fact, condemned the decision and the university had to reconsider its plans.
According to Dr Anil Karnik, director Garware Institute the decision to drop the idea of buying the aircraft was based on the fact that BFC assured that it had enough aircrafts and the university would have dedicated aircrafts if required for its students. “The MoU signed on Friday has clarified that the students in the university will have the practical flying at the BFC’s flying strip at Dhule and the BFC will assign aircrafts for the sake of the university students so that they are able to get hands on experience which is part of the course,” said Dr Karnik.
Sources in the university said that the amount that was to be invested in buying the aircraft would be utilised for more urgent issues and improvement of other facilities.
Senate members and student unions alike had opposed the buying of the aircraft and claimed victory for themselves when told about the decision to drop the idea of buying the aircraft. “The university does not have sufficient expertise to maintain the aircraft and the maintenance cost would have been too much to bear for the university. We are glad the university administration has finally seen the light of the day,” said a former senate member taking barbs at the VC.