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The present - tense - at Mumbai University

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As researched and published by Correspondent Rahul Shukla

Mumbai University has failed final examinations again this year. This year 2017 we see a resultant delay so grave, in fact, that it has caused suffering and suicides amongst the student populace. 

The University was initially expected to release the results for the final year exams in June – as it does every year – but this was delayed. The University failed to deliver the results of over 400 examinations, held in March, by the 21 July deadline. The root cause of the delay was said to be the hasty digital transition of paper correction, which included on-screen marking of answer papers. Although the 160-year-old university intended to promote transparency with the move, it received flak for its inability to identify its realities in advance. Under the new system, papers will be scanned and put up on a software on the computer screen. Teachers will mark them on the screen and upload the marks on a common system.

There was clearly a lack of implementation of technology and training. An internal source informed that the answer booklets did not bear barcodes which even led to instances in which same answer booklets were assigned to two seats. On July 2nd the University conducted a day-long training session on digital assessment for some of its teachers across affiliated colleges while leaving many of the examiners to learn to assess papers digitally when they start the actual process. This happened in a scenario when most of the officials are not tech savvy. Principals of various colleges questioned the mathematics of the process put together by the university. Keeping in mind that over 22 lakh answer sheets had to be scanned, MU planned to use 50 scan machines and 250 employees to scan 1.50 lakh answer sheets on a daily basis which clearly a thoughtless move bordering on outright foolishness. 

The results were certain to be delayed by now and thus it became a matter of concern for the Honorable Governor. Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, chancellor of all varsities in the state, had called for an urgent meeting with MU vice chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh and other senior education officials to discuss this issue. MU was directed to announce all results by July 31 – but, in a shocking revelation, the MU said that only 3,000 of 11,000 teachers have reported for evaluation duty so far. Evaluators, however, claim the faulty online assessment software is to be blamed for delay in results. A teacher said, "Earlier, we used to evaluate around 30 papers a day. But the new online assessment process is riddled with technical glitches, due to which we are only able to check 10 a day. Instead of pointing fingers at us, the varsity should resolve the software glitches." Mr. M A Khan, registrar, MU, said, "We might not manage to announce all results by July 31, especially those courses with high number of students. However, maximum results should be released within the deadline". 

Come Monday July 31st 2017, the Results for 2017 were still in abeyance - in total contradiction to the guaranteed commitment as issued by Education Minister Vinod Tawde. 15 Results including results for B.Sc fifth and sixth semester were declared on Monday night. However, there were a whopping 2.9 Lakh answer sheets still waiting for assessment along with around 1 Lakh that needed to be moderated on various grounds. Not even a single result was given from Law department. Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao then declared August 5th 2017 as the new deadline for Mumbai University 2017 Results. But then was a five day extension enough? “It looks difficult to announce all the results by August 5. Our aim is to not extend the August 15 deadline," said an official from MU. He said while the extra five days were sought assuming the pace of assessment between August 1 and 5 will be similar to what it was during the non-instructional days, the assessment figures have been dismal. This was because the varsity had more or less completed the assessment work of all the faculties except commerce and law, so the overall number of teachers reporting for assessment went down in an attempt to balance lectures and assessments on a daily basis. In a meeting with student representatives in first week of August, MU vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had mentioned that the university hopes to clear all results by August 15.

Both the legislative houses considering the present situation of chaos and absolute mismanagement at Mumbai University Results 2017 due to the new system of online assessment asked for the removal of Mumbai University VC - Sanjay Deshmukh. In an instance, Aditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena Chief, Udhav Singh Thackeray met with the Governor in last week of July and discussed with him the inability of the VC, Sanjay Deshmukh and Education Minister, Vinod Tawde to understand and know the needs of the students and the utter disappointment they’ve caused to the students. He also questioned the quality of assessment and evaluation when all this is being done in a hurried manner. Owing to all this pressure, the Maharashtra government on 28th July ordered an inquiry to probe into the role of VC, Sanjay Deshmukh in implementing the new online system of assessment, the manner in which it was done and also how the tenders for the selection of the agency were floated. (New Deadline August 5, Mumbai University Fails to Declare Results on July 31, 2017)

 

Consider the deadly lag here - stretching June => July => August while causing phenomenal trouble for the poor students. Its really no wonder people dump Mumbai University and move to foreign univerisities - there's clearly exponential difference in the quality of education, testing and results.

 

References
Don’t expect results anytime soon, Mumbai university will miss its second deadline. (2017, August 05). Retrieved from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/don-t-expect-results-anytime-soon-mumbai-university-will-miss-its-second-deadline/story-uzHAqdci4beXNUAeL4WiiM.html


Mumbai university digital assessments: Examiners to be trained on the job. (2017, July 03). Retrieved from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-university-digital-assessments-examiners-to-be-trained-on-the-job/story-oI23QBJXgWpK91g7TnGF9I.html


Mumbai University results may be delayed as teachers struggle with new system. (2017, July 10). Retrieved from Mid Day: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-university-results-may-be-delayed-as-teachers-struggle-with-new-system/18410164


New Deadline August 5, Mumbai University Fails to Declare Results on July 31. (2017, August 01). Retrieved from Yahoo News: https://in.news.yahoo.com/deadline-august-5-mumbai-university-044448053.html