In its report to the Mumbai University on April 1, the Board of Examination (BOE) had instructed the university officials to lodge a police complaint in connection with the March 2 leaking of the Marketing and Human Resource Management paper for Third Year (TY) BCom students, under the Prevention of Malpractices. It’s been four days since the diktat was issued, but university officials have not yet filed a complaint the police on the incident that caused a furore last month.
While many students hovered anxiously outside the court premises, a student union met with the vice- chancellor, but failed to convince him to cancel the exam, in the wake of the court’s verdict.
An official from the University of Mumbai, on condition of anonymity, said, “The process of registering a police complaint and another with the cyber crime department will take time, but it is underway. The University has spoken to Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Himanshu Roy, and they have started investigating the matter. The University of Mumbai has been given two weeks to reply to the petition filed by the students of TY BCom. Today, representatives of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) met the vice- chancellor (V-C) on behalf of those students who are protesting the re-exam. They presented their demands. The V-C has not given any assurance to them but only heard their plea.”
Suraj Singh Thakur, NSUI state president, said, “We demanded that no question be asked from outside the scope of the syllabus. The colleges should send notification to all those students who have already left for their vacations, reminding them that their re-exam is scheduled for April 11. It was also demanded that the marking be lenient. Our primary aim was to cancel the re-exam, but when the High Court quashed the demand, we had to accept the decision.”
Jayprakash Aggarwal (26), one of the two petitioners, said, “We don’t mind writing the examination again, but how long will the Mumbai University get away with its blunders? Through this petition, we wanted to raise a strong voice against the varsity. We accept the court’s decision — we may have lost the battle, but we will win the war.”
The other petitioner Chetankumar Sharma (22) rued, “We listed a number of reasons why the examination shouldn’t be rescheduled. However, the High Court did not consider our problems, and ruled in the university’s favour.”
Advocate for the petitioners, Uday Varumjikar, said, “The honourable bench of the High Court has asked the university to file a reply to the charges made in the petition in two weeks. The persons charged will be punished only after the response is filed.”
The High Court’s verdict in favour of the re-exam infuriated the 50-odd TY BCom students who had gathered outside the court premises yesterday.
Aditya Pawar, one of the affected students, said, “We don’t want a re-examination, so we protested. We will meet the vice-chancellor tomorrow and request him to cancel it.”
The students have resolved to congregate at Azad Maidan today, and thereafter visit the V-C to protest the re-exam.
Dhaval Vora, another student, said, “We didn’t know that the NSUI had gone on our behalf and had agreed to the re-exam. We would have never come to protest if we had agreed for the re-exam.”
Dr SM Suryawanshi, controller of examinations, Mumbai University, said, “We will be taking preventive measures to ensure that such a blunder does not occur in the future. We will be holding a meeting to discuss the measures soon.”
On March 27, invigilators had accidentally provided 40 students with the MHRM paper instead of handing out the paper for the scheduled Business Economics exam. The MHRM exam was scheduled to be held the following day, on March 28. As a result of the blunder, an SMS was circulated, containing questions that would appear in the MHRM paper the next day.
After its initial denial, Mumbai University conducted an enquiry into the matter and admitted to the mistake. It was then decided that the MHRM examination would be re-conducted on April 11.
Rohan Ranavade (20),
Lala Lajpat Rai College
We have no choice but to sit with our books again. Why should 85,000 students suffer because of 40-odd students? It is not our fault that the paper was leaked.