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80,000 students at Mumbai University are still waiting for their results. Sacking the VC will not fix this

Ashwin Aghor | Updated on: 26 October 2017, 14:42 IST
Sanjay Deshmukh

The Maharashtra Governor has sacked the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University Sanjay Deshmukh, but the root cause that lead to this – the delay in the announcement of results – is far from being resolved.

The fate of thousands of students continue to hang in balance and many of them have already lost one precious year of their academic lives.

While most are blaming the faulty online evaluation system, many have pointed out that a well-oiled revaluation racket running in Mumbai University could be behind this fiasco.

In an unprecedented turn of events over last few months, probably for the first time in the history of one of the most respected universities in the country, answer sheets could not be evaluated. And this lead to a delay in the results being announced. To add to this, it was revealed that more than 25,000 answer sheets were missing. According to sources, close to 80,0000 students from different courses are still waiting for their results.

It is being alleged that the new online evaluation system introduced by Dr Sanjay Deshmukh is at the root of the fiasco. It was because of this new evaluation system that answer sheets could not be evaluated in time.

Though the new system was flawless on paper, its execution was faulty. Or was the execution deliberately jeopardised – is the question.

If highly placed sources in Mumbai University are to be believed, the revaluation racket active at Mumbai University could have been instrumental behind the failure. 

“There is well-oiled machinery at Kalina campus of Mumbai University which gets revaluation of the answer sheets rigged. Students who want to get their marks increased, get it done through this revaluation. Had the new system been successful, it would have plugged such loopholes forever. I think the people running this racket have been busy jeopardising the new evaluation system,” said a senior professor who did not wish to be named.

Most professors agree that the new evaluation system introduced by Deshmukh, if executed effectively, would have permanently put an end to the malpractices.

“The new evaluation system was definitely fool-proof. But hasty execution did not yield the desired results. The new system was highly technical and required the user to be well-acquainted with computer technology. The younger generation of professors are net savvy. They could adapt to the new system easily. But veteran professors like me could not cope with the pace and failed to use the system. Had there been proper training sessions before implementation, the situation would have been completely different,” said Dr Sanjay Joshi, senior professor at KJ Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, Mumbai.

He opined that the system should have been used to evaluate answer sheets of those courses which have very low number of students. “Like the number of students for Environment Science course in the university is very low. Their answer sheets could have been evaluated using the new system. It would have been a wise step,” he added.

Though the Vice-Chancellor of Shivaji Universty (Kolhapur), Devanand Shinde, has been appointed as acting VC of Mumbai University, it is unlikely to solve the problem of around 80,000 students who are still waiting for the results of the examinations conducted in summer this year.

Many of them have lost their chances of getting jobs and admissions to foreign, as well as Indian universities, for higher education.

No matter what action is taken against Deshmukh, the fact remains that the loss incurred by the 25,000 students whose answer sheets are lost, and another 80,000 students who are waiting for the results, is irreparable.

Meanwhile, The Governor and Chancellor of University of Mumbai CH Vidyasagar Rao has decided to constitute a search Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan, for the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mumbai. Kasturirangan is a renowned Indian space scientist who headed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from 1994 to 2003.

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 26 October 2017, 14:42 IST