Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

Varsity’s Error Terror

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Mumbai | Posted: October 30, 2013 1:27 am

The Mumbai University’s administrative section has an army of people — 2,500 permanent employees and temporary staff strength of another 1,000 —but this has hardly reduced the goof-ups over the years. Delays in distribution of hall tickets,errors in timetable,dispatch of wrong questions papers to exam centres,late results,and a completely new complication every year has become the norm with the over 150-year-old institution,which boasts of Grade-A ranking by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Every year,thousands of students have to relive trauma and pain during the examination season. Something is terribly wrong with the administration of Mumbai University,the country’s second oldest university.

The variety of goof-ups by the university is shocking. Hall tickets are issued with wrong subjects,codes are incorrect,dates do not match timetables,students with no disability are declared visually impaired,are just some of the things that the university got wrong this exam season. And to top it all,the administration revised the seating arrangement just a day before the exam,leading to complete confusion and chaos.

Educationists say the poor administration standards seeped in almost a decade ago and its now time to undertake an urgent and exhaustive reform. While authorities claim that the number of goof-ups have dropped,experts and senate members allege authorities have lost control over the university’s administration.

THE MESSY EXAM SYSTEM<\b>

Every year,on an average,there are seven to eight exam-related and administrative goof-ups at the university,besides delay in declaring results. And,the biggest stakeholder – 7.16 lakh students of the university and its affiliated colleges – feel the brunt. Though the number of students has almost doubled in the last 10 years,no substantial measures were taken to reform the exam house,where of the 350 sanctioned posts,only 210 posts at present filled. The battle is fought at multiple fronts,including eligibility,enrollment,attestation,errors in mark-sheets and hall tickets. In each area,students are made to run from pillar to post. A severe dent,infact,was made in the university’s reputation last year,when the university witnessed a series of paper leaks in May 2013,following which the Mumbai police arrested 14 people in June,of which three were temporary employees of Mumbai University.

What’s more,in the span of a year,several officials have been ousted and new officers have been recruited with the hope that the exam house and examination processes would be set in order.

After Vilas Shinde was asked to vacate the post of exam controller in January 2012,deputy registrar (administration) S M Suryavanshi was asked to take charge. Three months later,after the marketing and human resource management papers were leaked,a new post of the director of examinations was created by the university in an attempt to spruce up exam work. Subhash Deo,principal of Gogate-Joglekar College in Ratnagiri,held this office till recently. After he went back to his college,Deepak Wasave was asked to hold the reins of the exam house.

In May,Dr M A Khan,director of Sydenham Institute of Management,and Dr Padma Deshmukh,lecturer at CHM College,were appointed as registrar and controller of examinations,respectively. Further,the university created yet another post and brought back an old hand as advisor for exams,last month. Prakash Wani,who was continued…

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