With no marksheets, Mumbai University students may have to give up foreign varsity spots

Updated: 11 August, 2020 14:38 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

While some students have got extensions on their joining dates, others say they would have to forego their seats as the Supreme Court is yet to decide on the final year exams

All universities demand marksheets as part of the admission process
All universities demand marksheets as part of the admission process

The life and careers of a number of Mumbai University (MU) students are hanging in the balance due to the never-ending confusion over final year examinations. With the Supreme Court (SC) postponing the hearing in the matter to August 14, some students who have already secured admission in foreign universities will have to let go off their seats in the absence of degree marksheets, which they need to complete the process.

Taha Chatterjee, whose admission to a European university for a Masters course in Space Engineering was accepted in February, will now have to let go of his seat, which he secured after preparing for the entrance test for three years. Similarly, Aakash Kolekar's plans of going to the US for further studies have been postponed for a year as he cannot report to the university in due time with a degree marksheet.

Student Aakash Kolekar says, 'Just as I have been given a chance to join in the next semester, some students have been told to join in Spring. With no clarity on the final exams issue, taking this decision is difficult'
Student Aakash Kolekar says, 'Just as I have been given a chance to join in the next semester, some students have been told to join in Spring. With no clarity on the final exams issue, taking this decision is difficult'

'Not without a degree'
Kolekar, who has received an acceptance letter from University of Arizona for a Masters course in Management Information System, was supposed to report to the campus on or before August 17. "This is clearly impossible considering the confusion over final year exams. My admission will not be confirmed without a degree," said Kolekar, who has completed Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Computer Engineering from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology.

He further said, "Just the way I have been given a chance to join in the next semester, some students have been asked to join in Spring, but they too will have to let the university know whether they will be able to do so. With no clarity on the final exams issue, taking this decision is difficult."

Alakh Alok Srivastava, SC advocate
Alakh Alok Srivastava, SC advocate

While Kolekar has the option of joining in the next semester, many do not have the same. Chatterjee has been forced to forgo his seat at a European University, as his joining date couldn't be postponed. "I was supposed to report to campus by September 15 with a marksheet. Even if there is a verdict in the next hearing, there is no certainty that MU will be able to complete the process of issuing degree marksheets within the required time, without which the admission cannot be confirmed. We all are well aware of the delays and issues related to MU's evaluation system," said Chatterjee, who has completed a Mechanical Engineering course from M H Saboo Siddik College of Engineering.

'Careers at stake'
Speaking to mid-day, advocate Siddharth Ingle from Maharashtra Students Union, which has filed an intervention in the ongoing SC case asking whether the decision regarding final exams could be left to the states, said, "The issue has been stretched far too much for no particular reason. Careers of lakhs of students are at stake – not only of those going abroad for higher education but also of those looking for jobs."

When contacted, SC advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who is the main arguing counsel on behalf of the students in the ongoing case, said, "Loss of precious time in their academic and career lives is precisely the ground on which we are presenting. Considering the plight of the students, an alternate mode of performance assessment shall be decided and no student will lose out on any opportunity of higher education or of employment. I firmly believe that on Friday the matter will be finally heard and decided."

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First Published: 11 August, 2020 07:32 IST

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