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Mumbai University must learn its lessons

Never mind the University’s proclamations about the media sensationalising issues and parties politicising things, the fact that there have been a number of goof ups in recent times is proof enough of slipping standards, both organisational and academic.

Of late, there have been a slew of problems — from late hall tickets, to wrong question papers and re-allotment of exam centres — sending students in a tizzy and leading people to ask what exactly has gone wrong with what was once considered to be such a prestigious institution.

Sensationalised or not, it is imperative that the University take urgent steps in sorting out the mess that is currently part of the set-up. Whether it is short staffed or incompetent or caught in the crossfire of political parties who want to exploit it for political gain, the University needs to move fast to undo the wrongs and take steps to ensure that gaffes do not occur in the future.

What’s worse is that students — who are already under tremendous pressure thanks to the system, the intense competition in a brutal world, and high expectations — are paying for the University’s mistakes.

The spate of student suicides gives some indication of how fragile these youngsters are in an increasingly complex world. In a city where strikes and bandhs called by various groups frequently disrupt public transport and other services, it doesn’t take much to gauge the the state of mind of a nervous candidate, clueless about whether he would be able to reach his exam centre on time. They do not need problems like last minute shifts in exam centres and late hall tickets to play on their already taut nerves.

The University needs to gets its act together not only for its reputation but for those that are most affected — the students. 

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