A 21-year-old girl was standing on the threshold of a promising career when a clerical error by her college brought her life to a standstill. Swati Bagade had completed an LLB degree course from Siddharth College of Law, Churchgate almost a year ago but she is yet to get a job. And it’s not even her fault, as the error on her marksheet by the college has cost her a year.

Swati Bagade with her grievance application at the Mumbai University’s Fort campus
Swati Bagade with her grievance application at the Mumbai University’s Fort campus

“My result was declared on July 23, 2015. I was shocked to see that I was shown absent in the practical examination because of which I was failed. In reality, I had secured good marks in the practical,” said Bagade. Due to this, she has lost almost one entire academic year.

“I immediately approached the college with my complaint. After much persuasion, a committee was set up by the Mumbai University (MU) in February this year to look into the issue to whom I presented my case,” Bagade added.

Even though the college has accepted the mistake and an application was immediately posted to the examination department notifying the error, MU has denied to consider the marks as they were submitted late.

“The committee’s report few days later was equally disturbing as it again cited delay in submission of marks as the reason for this issue. I do not understand now what to do. I have already lost a crucial year of my life running behind correcting a mistake that I did not make,” said Bagade.

Costly error
Dr M A Khan, registrar of MU, said, “In such cases, where marks are submitted later or after revision, there is always a concern over authenticity. This is why colleges are given strict instructions about being careful while feeding the data online.”

Frustrated, Bagade finally approached the Vice Chancellor of the University.

“I met with VC sir on Monday to explain my entire case. I expressed how these last few months have been mentally tiring and that only he can save me from the stress of reappearing for the last semester. He then directed me to the students’ grievance cell,” said Bagade, who did exactly that.

Dr Khan further said, “The grievance committee will look into the issue, and then accordingly it will be referred to the Board of Examination.”

When contacted, Dr Sudhakar Reddy, the principal of Siddharth College of Law, admitted to the mistake.

“It was a clerical mistake and we too are pursuing it with the varsity.” The college had given a letter to the university explaining its mistake in the case. Bagade was planning to appear for the Bar Council examination so that she can start earning through her practice and help her widowed mother in managing the finances.