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Monday, October 26, 2020

After technical glitches mar exams, MU’s IDOL announces new dates

The final-year exams for regular and repeater candidates of BA, BCom, BSc (information technology and computer science) of IDOL are being conducted online from October 3 to 17. The next paper is on October 6.

Written by Abha Goradia | Mumbai | Updated: October 6, 2020 11:54:17 am
University of Mumbai, University of Mumbai distance learning exams, University of Mumbai distance learning exam new dates, indian express newsSeveral students thronged the MU campus on Saturday after they were unable to take the exams online. (File)

A day after several students of the University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) claimed they were unable to write the final-year exams for graduation courses on day one due to technical glitches, the institute announced new dates for the tests.

A statement issued by the institute late Saturday said the re-examination for third-year BCom students will be conducted on October 9, and for third-year BA students on October 14.

Read | 72,729 students appeared for Mumbai University’s online exams on Monday

IDOL spokesperson Vinod Malale said, “We do not have information on the exact cause of the technical glitches. However, we will be rescheduling the exam for all students who could not appear for their papers.”

So far, Malale said, the institute, does not have data on the exact number of students who could not take the exams on Saturday, but said, “BSc students, being fewer in number, did not face much problem”.

The final-year exams for regular and repeater candidates of BA, BCom, BSc (information technology and computer science) of IDOL are being conducted online from October 3 to 17. The next paper is on October 6.

Explained

For better conduct of exams

The University of Mumbai is experimenting with the online format of examinations for the first time and should have collaborated more closely with technology solution providers, set up helpdesks and helplines for students on campus. On Saturday, several students of its open and distance learning institute were left panic-stricken after they could not write their papers due to technical issues. Gaining students’ confidence is an important part of the online exam procedure.

On Saturday, several students thronged the MU campus after they were unable to take the exams online. BA repeater student Parshuram Tapase said, “The link given to us was not loading in my phone and laptop, and displayed an error message. After I went to the university, the official tried logging in using my details from the computer there but received the same message. I missed my exam. It was surprising to see that no representative of the service provider was present and the helpline number kept me on wait for over 20 minutes.”

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Umesh Rane, a BCom student who was to appear for his exam from Ratnagiri, said, “The exam was supposed to start at 1 pm. But after I logged in, I found that the paper was not uploaded. It was blank. I sent a frantic mail to the email address given to us but the reply has not been relevant. I have mailed them again.”

Following the glitches, state Higher & Technical Education Minister Uday Samant Saturday tweeted, “Each university has been directed to conduct re-exam of students who could not appear for exams due to technical glitches. Students need not worry.”

Maharashtra Students Welfare Association, meanwhile, has appealed to the minister to take action against the faulty service providers to ensure similar situations do not arise again. Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena State vice-president Santosh Gangurde, too, said, “When affiliated colleges have been given permission to hire their own software providers, why hasn’t the same autonomy extended to IDOL to conduct exams? We demand the minister to take action against faulty service providers for causing panic among students.”

Read | As colleges prep to reopen, some campuses to act as isolated spaces, many to offer COVID scholarships

Meanwhile, confusion among ATKT (allowed to keep term) students of the university continued as some of them were not allowed to appear for the exams. Deepak Shelar, a student of LLM who cleared his final semester last year, said, “I have ATKT in semester 1. As per the university notice for regular and ATKT students, I applied for the exams and paid the fees. I was later told by the department that the ATKT exams are being conducted only for students who have not cleared their final-year exams. But nowhere is this clarified in their notice. I have been told there will be a separate notice in the coming days for us.”

Rehan Momin, another backlog student who cleared fourth-semester last year, found out he was ineligible for the current exams after he failed to receive his exam roll number and link for mock test.

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