IDOL students upset at MU's musical chairs during exams

The examination season is on, and students of the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), of Mumbai University are stressed not only about studies, but whether they will reach the correct exam centre at the right time, thanks to the ever-changing seating arrangements.

Students, who have been appearing for their distance course examinations at the University of Mumbai’s Kalina campus, have complained about how the changing seating arrangement for every subject is stressful for them. If a student is appearing at the IDOL centre for one paper, her next paper may be in the Department of Marathi, which is 5-7 minutes away.

There is no transport so they have no choice but to walk. Even if there is a one-hour difference between two papers, it is difficult for candidates to find the different centres because they say there is a lack of appropriate directions.

One of the students, who is appearing for Second Year Bachelor of Arts papers, said, “We are not regular students to know the campus properly. Also, we are not informed about the centres in advance. For each paper, we have to search which centre is allotted, by going through the list of seat numbers. Then, the search begins for the allotted centre.”

The agitated parent of a student who is appearing for the Third Year Bachelor of Arts papers, said, “This is so confusing. There are no clear directions. Thankfully, we have a car so we are able to move about. But for those who are walking, it is very difficult and stressful if they reach a wrong centre. Why can’t one student have a single seating arrangement for the entire examination?”

Official speak
When contacted Ashutosh Rathod, Deputy Registrar, Public Relations for IDOL, said, “The seating arrangement is done as per subjects. Hence different papers are at different centres. But we have ensured that there are proper sign boards for students to easily find the places and security officials have been told to help students.”

He added, “Generally exams are conducted at different colleges. But this time colleges were not available and IDOL had to accommodate all students in the Kalina campus. Considering the examination parameters of having one supervisor for 40 students, and to accommodate all students, we had to have different centres inside campus. But they are not far from each other.”

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