Over 25,000 students were wrongly failed in exams conducted by Mumbai University (MU) over the past year-and-a-half, according to information obtained under an RTI application. Further, the RTI reply reveals that the Mumbai University examinations department has said details of action taken against the erring professors/examiners cannot be revealed since it is confidential.
As many as 25,009 students were declared ‘pass’ after revaluation and 832 students were declared ‘pass’ after re-totaling of marks. This information was made available to activist Vihar Durve.
Delay in revaluation results has been a long-standing issue with students. The varsity’s exam department has been criticised for taking months to declare results of revaluation and re-totaling each year. Due to this, students are forced to appear for supplementary exams. In many cases, results of revaluation are declared after the students appear for the supplementary exams.
“This problem takes place due to the carelessness of the examiners and paper checkers. Why should students suffer? The varsity claims there is no provision to compensate students who are declared ‘pass’ after revaluation and re-totalling of marks, except for refund of their examination fees,” said Durve. He has written to the Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University Rajan Welukar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, urging them to take strict action against the erring professors / examiners/paper checkers. “These professors are guilty of shattering the dreams of these students and playing with their future,” said Durve.
When contacted, M A Khan, registrar of MU said that as an academic, he feels it is unfair to students as they have to suffer for no fault of theirs. As a university official, however, he had to follow the rules, he said.
“In my personal view, students suffer for no fault of theirs and if these students approach us with genuine cases, I will take personal interest in helping them. As of now, there is no provision to penalise erring professors or paper checkers. However, in cases of mass failure in paper checked by a particular teacher, we do initiate an inquiry and take appropriate action. However no such cases have come to light so far.”
Advocate Manoj Tekade, of Prahar Vidhyarthi Sanghatana, a students’ union said, “Every year the results are delayed. Even the revaluation results are declared late, due to which students are forced to appear for the supplementary exams and end up losing a year. Every year, students face the same problem. This year when university had declared some of the results on time, students were not issued their marksheets on time. The examination system is in a mess and careers of thousands of students are jeopardised.”
As per a university ordinance, the marks obtained after re-evaluation will be included in the marksheet of the candidate, but the same “shall not be taken into account for the purpose of awards of scholarships or a top rank/medal”.
In the past, due to this, students have even lost their chance to become a topper of the university.
One such student, Padmaja Somanchi, an MA (History)
part-II student of the Mumbai University in 2007 worked hard for five years to become a topper. She, however, scored far less marks marks in her MA Part -II exam than she hoped and someone else was declared the topper. She applied for revaluation and she scored higher marks than the topper. However, due to the university rule, her score was not considered for the top rank.