The one-hour delay caused a panic among the anxious students as rumours of a paper leak the previous night had been doing the rounds all morning. However, thanks to the efforts of the university officials, a fresh set of the question paper — saved in a CD-format — was delivered at exam centres across the city. However, this last minute change has raised questions over the officials’ statement of denouncing rumours of a possible leak.
“I confirm that there was no leak. Principals of all the engineering colleges had been instructed at the principals’ meeting to expect a last minute change in question paper via electronic form (e-mail or CD). To eliminate the possibility of a leak, we decided to send a set of papers in a packet, while another in a CD. We then instructed the colleges to distribute one of these sets,” said Subhash Dev, director of Examinations, Mumbai University. When questioned about the delay in commencement of the exam, Dev denied having knowledge about any such delay on the university’s part.
Swati Kamble (name changed) said, “My centre was at Thane. Though the exam was scheduled for 11 am, we received the question paper 15 minutes after starting time. There were rumours about a leak. I heard that some of the students very happily asserting that half of the questions from the leaked paper were in the paper we received.”
“We received the question paper at 12 pm and the closing time was extended to 2 pm. I’m happy with the delay, as it foiled the bid of those wanting to do well by leaking the paper,” said another student, requesting anonymity.
Dr B K Lande, principal of Shah & Anchor Kutchhi Engineering College, Chembur, said, “The exam got delayed because we received the CD late. We received it at 10 am following which we had to carefully read the instructions, and print 400 hard copies. Hence it took a while in distributing the question paper.”
Confirming the delay in commencement of the exam, Dr Shubha Pandit, principal of K J Somaiya College of Engineering, said, “There was a delay of around 30 minutes. This delay was due to certain university proceedings on which I cannot comment.” Another principal from a Bandra-based engineering college, said, “The paper started an hour behind the previously prescribed schedule because the varsity sent a fresh question paper in CD-format. It had instructions prohibiting us from issuing the previous question paper.”