Colleges appointed by the University of Mumbai (MU) to decide on the modalities of conducting the final-year exams are expected to release exam timetables in a day or two. These colleges, also tasked with preparing a bank of 250 questions for students, are now racing to share them by the end of the week.
Based on areas and disciplines of study, the MU has grouped colleges under it into 90 clusters and appointed one college as a lead for each to decide on the modalities of conducting the final-year exam, including preparation of timetable and question banks.
All affiliated colleges will have to follow the basic guidelines prepared by the university for conducting exams for regular students from October first week, and ATKT (allowed to keep term) students from September 25. Exams will be conducted for an hour and for 50 marks.
Autonomous colleges, part of a separate cluster, said some were yet to receive an official letter from the MU. “Though we are yet to receive an official communique, we have begun meeting other autonomous colleges. Preparing questions banks for multiple-choice questions is a tougher job than setting actual question papers. Teachers are struggling as some have their books in the college,” principal of a south Mumbai college said.
Mumbai University and College Teachers’ Association (MUCTA), too, said there was a lot of pressure on teachers to prepare the question banks. “One faculty member teaches about three subjects. For each subject, one has to prepare sample questions and in different languages, apart from conducting online lectures. Usually, the university has to pay remuneration to paper setters, but now, all teachers are involved in paper setting. And there is no clarity on the pay,” MUCTA president Vaibhav Narawade said.
A MU official, however, told The Indian Express that if over 10 faculties are roped in to prepare a question bank of 250 questions, “one teacher would only require to prepare 25”. The university, the official said, has already informed colleges that a part of the exam fees paid to it will be refunded to colleges to help them with the expenses.
To help teachers prepare multiple-choice questions as per the accepted format, the office of Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan — a central government scheme to aid higher education — will organise capacity-building programmes in colleges. One such programme is scheduled in collaboration with DAV College on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the SNDT Women’s University has already prepared a timetable and shared with respective colleges. VN Magare, pro-vice-chancellor of the university, said: “A student will have to attempt 25 out of 30 questions for the 50-mark paper for the exam starting from October first week. We have about 21,000 students, including ATKT and distance-education students.”
For final-year architecture students, JJ College of Architecture has decided to conduct viva online. “Students will need to make drawings at home, whereas examiners and observers will conduct the viva online,” said principal Rajiv Mishra.
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