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Dr Karande brings AI to the forefront of Mumbai University

Updated on: 21 February,2024 07:27 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vinod Kumar Menon | vinodm@mid-day.com

His 17 months at the helm of MU’s exams paved the way for AI integration in education

Dr Karande brings AI to the forefront of Mumbai University

Dr Prasad Karande, associate professor, VJTI

Key Highlights

  1. Dr Prasad Karande set to revolutionise education by incorporating artificial intelligence
  2. He considers this a significant achievement
  3. Dr Karande will soon be replaced by Dr Pooja Raundale

Dr Prasad Karande, 51, set to revolutionise education by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) in the curriculum, reflects on his 17-month tenure overseeing examinations for over three lakh students across 450 courses at Mumbai University. Overcoming challenges like technical glitches and resistance to technology, he considers this a significant achievement.


Dr Prasad Karande, who is the Director Board of Examinations and Evaluation, Mumbai University (MU), said, “Imparting academic knowledge by introducing AI technology across streams of education as part of its future curriculum, will soon become a reality, and this will bring much-required dynamics in our existing education and examination system.”


Dr Karande will soon be replaced by Dr Pooja Raundale, Professor (Master of Computer Application) at Sardar Patel Institute of Technology. She was appointed in January 2024, however, Dr Karande was directed to hold the temporary charge, until the annual convocation ceremony, which was held on February 7, and will soon be handing over the charge to Dr Raundale.


17 months instead of six

Dr Karande, now an Associate Professor at VJTI, teaches optimisation and decision sciences to third-year engineering students and supply chain management to final-year mechanical engineering students. Initially assigned a six-month role at DBoEE, MU from September 1, 2022, he ended up serving for seventeen months.

“I faced the challenge of transitioning MU’s examination systems back to normalcy for the first in-person exam since the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown, which had shifted all exams online at the college level,” he said.

Challenges faced

“Facing a tight deadline of just a month before the winter exams, I encountered hurdles such as establishing an online question paper delivery system, collecting pre-exam data, allocating seat numbers, resetting the on-screen marking system, and overcoming challenges related to the pandemic-induced changes.”

“Understanding complex university test patterns was challenging due to my technical background, but my experience at MSBTE and VJTI equipped me with a solid understanding of examination procedures. Being an outsider posed challenges in obtaining cooperation from stakeholders, especially when facing pressure from student unions, but I successfully managed and gained their cooperation later on.”

“We addressed usability issues in the existing OSM system during the winter 2022 exam. The new OSM system was used in the summer 2023 exam after training staff and assessors. Challenges arose with result processing due to student errors. After the summer 2023 exam, one vendor was chosen for the winter 2023-2024 exam,” explained Dr Karande.

New features introduced

Enhancements like online attendance tracking, a barcode system, and QR codes were implemented to improve the assessment system. Principal and assessor meetings were organised, support was sought from various stakeholders, and a dedicated team ensured efficient assessment progress. The introduction of online methods reduced delays in providing photocopies and revaluations, streamlining processes for timely results.

Admission reforms

Pandemics also affected admission schedules, impacting student registration, eligibility, exam administration, centre allocation, and results declaration. To address these issues, an early admission calendar for the academic year 2024-25 is announced. This helps avoid reserve scores due to insufficient exam data or eligibility difficulties, ensuring a smoother process. The advice to students emphasizes the value of hard, honest, and intelligent work for ultimately gratifying results.

What college principals say

Dr U K Nambiar, principal of MCT law college, Airoli, said, Dr Karande, appointed as DBoEE during MU's recovery from the 2020-2021 pandemic, successfully utilised technology to overcome challenges in conducting the 2022-2023 exams, allowing a timely Christmas break for faculties and principals. 

Dr Madhura Kalamkar, Principal, Hindi Vidya Prachar Samiti’s College of law, said, “Introducing barcode technology for answer sheets and a unified vendor for OSM has streamlined exam processes, ensuring timely results. Dr. Karande's commendable work in this area is expected to be continued by his successor.

51
Age of the doctor

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