WITH OVER 2.94 lakh answersheets yet to be assessed, the University of Mumbai missed the Monday deadline set by Maharashtra Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. The future of over 4.5 lakh students is now uncertain with the university saying it needs at least five more days to come out with the results.
Even as the results of third-year science students were declared Monday, students of most major streams, including commerce, engineering and law, will have to wait longer for their final year results. Registrar M A Khan said the university would now ensure all results were declared by August 5.
Of the 477 exams conducted in March and April this year, the university has so far declared results 171-odd papers, despite the Maharashtra Public Universities Act mandating that results be declared within 45 days of the exams.
The delay has been attributed to the hasty implementation of the ‘onscreen assessment process’ for correcting final year answersheets this year. The process requires answersheets to be scanned and then evaluated, leaving no room for tampering. But the university failed to appoint an agency in time to help with the technology and infrastructure. The agency was finally appointed on April 27. As a result, paper assessment, which usually starts three days after the exams, was delayed by more than a month after the exams.
Following the unprecedented delay in the declaration of results, Governor Rao had on July 4 pulled up officials and directed the university to declare all results by July 31.
He had also asked Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh to complete the assessments on war footing and ensure all technical glitches in the new onscreen assessment system were smoothened out.
Following the governor’s directive, the university has delegated part of its assessment work to other state universities, including those in Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad. However, technical glitches in the system and the difference in syllabi have hindered the work. On Monday, Savitribai Phule Pune University kicked off the process by allotting nearly 50 teachers for the purpose. However, not more than 100 papers could be corrected in a day, said an official in the university. Similar complaints were reported from other universities too.
Students, meanwhile, will bear the consequences of the university’s failure to declare results in time. Several students who have applied to universities abroad and colleges within the country may have to drop a year as it is past the deadline of most of these colleges to accept marksheets. Those seeking jobs too are unable to join or apply without their final year results.
The delay, which has put the future of students in jeopardy, has also led to uproar in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly. The Shiv Sena and the Congress have also demanded the resignation of Education Minister Vinod Tawde as well as V-C Deshmukh over the fiasco.
“A privilege motion would be moved against Vinod Tawde for his failure to meet the promise given on the floor of the House,” said Shiv Sena leader in the Legislative Council Anil Parab.
Amid the chaos over result declaration, economics professor Neeraj Hatekar has decided to take voluntary retirement. Making the announcement through a Facebook post, Hatekar claimed that he was distressed over “whatever is going on at the University of Mumbai”, and said he wanted to fight for the university’s betterment from the outside.
Meanwhile, the Bombay University College and Teachers’ Union has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against the university seeking the court’s intervention against the “arbitrary, subjective and hasty decisions” of the V-C to implement the onscreen assessment system.