This is the first time the students have been told to appear for exams at the Kalina centre
This is the first time the students have been told to appear for exams at the Kalina centre

Mumbai University has failed its students yet again. Nine students of the MA in Rural Development course at Devgad had to miss the viva voce for the semester end, because the varsity's notice came to them half an hour after the exam had already begun - 500 km away in Mumbai.

The viva or oral portion of the examination accounts for 40 per cent of the total marks, and any student who misses it is automatically failed in the subject. So, imagine the dismay of the students of S H Kelkar College in Devgad, when they received a notice from Mumbai University (MU) at 11.30 am on August 9, informing them that their exam was on the same day. Then, imagine their shock on further learning that for the first time, their centre was at the MU campus all the way in Mumbai.

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The final nail in the coffin was the timing - the exam had already begun at 11 am.

The viva voce has now been rescheduled for August 16.

The varsity is already facing considerable flak for its flawed online assessment system, which has delayed results as well. This time, it was a breakdown in communication that resulted in students missing the exam.

Stressful for students
"We got really stressed out when we realised that we had missed our exam," said Mahesh Mestry, 30, one of the students.

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"Earlier, we would get an intimation from the university about the schedule and centre at least eight days in advance. Surprisingly, this time we received the letter on the very day the exam was scheduled. Moreover, for the first time, the students were asked to appear for the exam at the Kalina campus," said Vijay Kajale, Head of the Department for the MA programme in Rural Development at S H Kelkar college.

Too far for students
A total of 40 students from colleges in Uran, Vasai and Panvel have appeared for the exam at the Kalina centre, as is the norm for those colleges.

But, for students in Devgad, the prospect of travelling 500 km to the Kalina campus is daunting – a journey of about 10-12 hours.

Earlier, students would be allotted a centre either in their own college or some other institute within a 50-km radius.

"Most of the students in the batch are working part-time for their livelihood. We have to take two days leave from our jobs to appear for the exam at Kalina," said a student, Aniket Gavali, 24.

The college management has requested the varsity to change the centre to a nearer location. "With the signature of all nine students, I have appealed to the university to change the examination centre from Kalina to the nearest college. But, I haven't received any reply yet," said Dr Gurudev Parvekar, principal of the college.

University says
"After we came to know about the issue, we immediately rescheduled the examination on August 16 and informed the college. Now, regarding the students' other request, we will soon intimate the college about the change in exam centre," said Dr Chandrakant Puri, chairperson of the board of studies for Rural Development, MU.


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