A First-year MA student, who recently appeared for her exams via Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), was heartbroken after discovering that she had failed because one of her answer sheets had gone missing. At least seven other students had similar complaints.

Representation pic/Thinkstock

When contacted, Mumbai University (MU) officials stated that students are given zero marks if their answer sheets are untraceable. They said such situations arise due to students entering incorrect seat numbers on answer sheets. “The results were out online first, three weeks ago, where I discovered that I had failed.

It was a shocker because I had worked hard and was happy with my performance in all the subjects. I was taken aback when the marks for individual subjects were announced later. I had scored ‘zero’ in one of the subjects,” said Anju K. She immediately contacted MU officials, who told her that the answer sheet for the subject she had failed in was untraceable.

“They said I might have wrongly mentioned my seat number on the answer sheet, which I doubt because I always double-check,” she added. Several students who lined up outside the Controller of Examinations (COE) office to complain about the issue were given a similar answer. The students who complained have scored zero in one or more subjects.

“We’ve been asked to request for the attendance sheet of that particular examination along with the signature of the supervisor, and prove that we had appeared for the exam. Now all we can do is wait and hope for the best,” said a student.

Official speak
Speaking to mid-day, varsity officials said students mentioning incorrect seat numbers on the answer sheets was a common problem.

“Whoever has approached us, have been requested to follow the protocol to procure attendance sheets for the day of exam and accordingly apply for reassessment of paper/s. When a student gets zero, it is not necessary that s/he has failed.

There’s a possibility that his/her answer sheets have gone missing,” said Vinod Malale, a senior MU official, adding that reassessment can take anywhere between six to eight weeks. MU Controller of Examinations Deepak Vasave told mid-day that not a single answer sheet has been misplaced.

“It is impossible that an answer sheet be misplaced, so students need not worry. Nobody will end up losing an academic year if their documents are in place,” said Vasave. Meanwhile students are awaiting clarity on the issue from MU.