The midnight fire in a signal cabin that affected train services on Central Railway threw thousands of students currently appearing in college and university level examinations in the city off track. Some reached examination centres three to four hours behind schedule. However, college and university officials were sympathetic and cooperated with students, asking them not to panic, but also requesting them to start for the centres as early as possible from the next day. The Mumbai University has directed exam centres to “accommodate” students. However, some examinees said they were so rattled by their travelling woes that they had a hard time writing the papers.
Better late than never
Dr Subhash Deo, Director of Examination and Evaluation, Mumbai University, said, “We know trains are running very late. We informed all the colleges wherever there are examination centres that they should give students extra time if they are coming in late. We have asked colleges to keep record of students coming late for examination and those who have failed to appear.”
He also appealed to all students to leave their houses early. “Allowing students to give exams in nearby centres can create problem and chaos. It’s better to leave early as the railways have confirmed to us that 70 per cent of the train issue will be sorted out by Thursday,” he added. Vinod Malale, PRO, University of Mumbai, said, “The university has allowed students to sit for their examination even if they have reached any other centre other than the allotted one. The colleges that have university exam centres were immediately informed about the train problems. The Board of Examination will have a meeting on Thursday to decide on what to do with Wednesday’s examination checking, if majority of students have been affected.”
Harish Suvarna, Principal of Anjuman-I-Islam College of Hotel Management, Fort, said, “Students have reached college very late and we have allowed them to appear for their exams giving them sufficient time. One of our staff members who left for the college at 6 am reached at 1pm. Trains are running that late.” Students left stranded today wish to give exams in local examination centres if the train problems continue till tomorrow.
Suhas Kadam, (name changed), TYBFA student, resident of Vasai: Our college co-operated with us and we were allowed to give the examination with enough time. I have a room at Colaba and I will stay there for today and tomorrow, till the train issues get solved and my exams too are over. I have invited my friends, who live at far off places, to come and stay over there.
Utkarsha Kotian, TYBMM, student of Ruia College, resident of Thane: I live in Thane and had my exam centre in Bandra. My exam of TYBMM was at 11 am and I reached half-an-hour late despite going by road with my father. There was a huge traffic on the streets as well.
Harneet Kaur, TYBMM student and resident of Ulhasnagar: When we contacted the university officials they claimed that we can give our exams from nearby centres. So, since there was an exam centre at Vikas College in Vikroli, I went there and requested the authorities to allow us 15 minutes more to attempt the paper. They cooperated, but took from us a written statement about the same.