Mumbai: Governor steps in to clean up Mumbai University mess

Jul 13, 2017, 08:40 IST | Pallavi Smart

The varsity had attempted to bring in online assessment to speed up results, but it has backfired
The varsity had attempted to bring in online assessment to speed up results, but it has backfired

The University of Mumbai may be cavalier about declaring the results for students who are waiting with bated breath as their future hangs in the balance, but in a first, the state government has stepped in. To that end, principal secretary of higher education, Sitaram Kunte, as well as secretary to governor, Venugopal Reddy, are believed to have been taking rounds of colleges where assessment process is underway to ensure speed and efficacy.

Governor steps in
The issue unravelled when the varsity's ambitious plan to take assessment online for speedy results went in the opposite direction and led to record-breaking delay in declaration of results. It has already led to the loss of an academic year for many students. Following several agitations by students' unions, the Governor of Maharashtra, in his capacity of Chancellor to all state universities, intervened in the issue. Last week, the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University was called for a meeting, in which a July 31 deadline was given to declare all pending results.

"This would be a rare incident that the government has taken interest in declaration of results. This only shows how delayed varsity results are a matter of great concern, putting the state government's reputation at stake. Governor's secretary and principal secretary to higher education are themselves visiting assessment centres to ensure that work is going fine," said a senior official from Mumbai University.

Kunte and Reddy have already paid visits to three assessment centres in the last few days. An official from state government, said, "If Mumbai University results are delayed further, it will be difficult to contain agitation by students' unions. Already, the new academic year has begun, and admission processes to several courses are nearing end."

Teachers revolt
However, while the state government is busy taking all steps it can to resolve the delay, teachers held a press conference on Wednesday, and revealed serious reservations related to the online assessment process. According to them the varsity will not be able to meet even the July deadline.

Some of the issues
>> The software takes 1-3 minutes to load one page
>> Answersheets are not uploaded
>> Several teachers have not received official letters calling them for assessment
>> No training in software
>> Each paper is detached to scan, creating a security problem

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