Mumbai University chooses troublesome provider for online assessment process, again

Nov 14, 2017, 11:24 IST | Pallavi Smart

Examinations have begun, but Mumbai University students unhappy with the evaluation system, have written to the Governor about it. They have requested that the contract with Merit Trac company - the technology service provider for the online assessment process - be discontinued. In the letter students have demanded to know why the university continued its contract with the company which was one of the reasons for the complete mess of the assessment process that caused several of them to lose an entire academic year.

In the letter students have demanded to know why the university continued its contract with the company which was one of the reasons for the complete mess of the assessment process last year
In the letter students have demanded to know why the university continued its contract with the company which was one of the reasons for the complete mess of the assessment process last year

Saurabh Mashelkar and Nimesh Savla, Mumbai University law students who have written the letter, plan to take the matter to the High Court if the issue is not resolved. They have also written to the Chief Minister and the education minister.

'The technical issues with the company and incompetency of the university authorities spoilt the careers of thousands of students during the last session. In spite of this, due to political consideration, the contract is being renewed with the same company. This is great injustice and a mockery of the education system,' states the letter. From the current session the university had planned that answer-sheets would be in the system by the sixth day since the exam was held. Ideally, answer-sheets of the Arts stream should be scanned and ready in the system by now, as the examination began on November 8. But opposition to the company can again land the online system in a controversy.

Waiting for response
"It is unbelievable how the university is fixated on this agency. The system failed, yet the varsity is continuing the same process. We are waiting for response to our letter, else we will move court with this issue," said Mashelkar, who is also president of the youth wing of the Citizen's Forum for Change.

Talking about how renewing the contract with the same company is arbitrary, Savla, added, "It is known how the system was already opposed but was continued with single-handed decisions taken by the then Vice Chancellor of the university. Not only is the varsity continuing with the same system, it is also continuing with the same company which was clearly unable to successfully complete the task. Even the government's I-T department report had criticised the way the system was implemented in the last session."

University speak
Registrar of the Mumbai University, Dinesh Kamble said, "The decision to continue with Merit Trac was taken following a thorough discussion in the Board of Examinations and considering legalities. Moreover, several corrections were also made to the system for the new examinations season. The company already has experience with the university and so it was right to continue with it for the next session while troubleshooting the lacunas."


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