WITH the Mumbai University’s Academic Council deciding to revert to the old system of allowing colleges to conduct exams for the first and second-year undergraduate courses from the next academic session, some stakeholders expressed doubts whether the colleges would be able to conduct the process effectively. The decision to decentralise the exams was taken at the council meeting on Wednesday.
“By giving more power to the colleges, Vice-Chancellor Dr Suhas Pednekar has brought the quality of education at stake. Other universities are developing, but MU is going the other way,” said Sachin Pawar, Maharashtra president of the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti, a students’ collective. Pawar wrote a mail to Pednekar on Thursday expressing his reservation over the decision.
As per the decision, under the Vice-Chancellor’s chairmanship, a committee of deans will be constituted to enhance the status of the system and the examination. They will also frame rules and issue guidelines to maintain the standard of teaching and examinations in the colleges.
For the last two years, the examination schedule and question papers of the first and second-year examinations of Mumbai University have been set by the varsity. This has led to some inconvenience in colleges located in the rural and remote areas. Due to the university’s delayed exam schedules, academic sessions sometimes remain incomplete. The university appointed former vice-chancellor Snehlata Deshmukh to chair a committee constituted to improve the university’s study-teaching methodology.
A varsity faculty member, on condition of anonymity, said, “While the decision takes some of the burden off the university’s shoulders, the other side is also fraught with dangers. The earlier decision in 2016 of a common question paper was taken under the assumption that the teaching was selective and the syllabus was not properly taught. A way has to be worked out in the matter.”