Final-year examinations for students of all colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai (MU) will be held between October 1 and October 17, and exams for ATKT (allowed to keep term) students will begin from September 25, MU said in a circular issued on Wednesday.
For devising timetables for the exams, the university has set up around 40 clusters of colleges based on the courses they provide – traditional courses, management, engineering, architecture, teacher’s training, physical education, law, pharmacy and fine arts, among others.
Each cluster will have one college in the lead or as the leader. The timetable will remain uniform for students from all colleges belonging to a particular cluster.
Nearly 2,22,581 MU students are slated to appear for 158 exams across Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Ratnagiri, Thane and Raigad.
The exams will be conducted online in the multiple choice questionnaire mode, for 50 marks, with the time limit of one hour. As reported by The Indian Express on September 7, only the portion of the syllabus taught until March 13 will be considered for the exams.
Colleges have been asked to seek help from local administration in facilitating infrastructure for students who do not have the resources to appear for online exams. In areas where it is not possible to conduct exams online, colleges have been allowed to conduct offline tests.
Practical exams or viva voce needs to be conducted online using meeting apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and others, while a phone call can also become a designated medium. Colleges have been asked to prepare a question bank for oral and theory exams. Given the format of the exam, the option for revaluation will not be allowed.
Further, colleges have been directed to collect details of students who are in their final years, and offer counselling to address their concerns.
Colleges that have conducted practical, oral or internal exams in February or early March, do not need to conduct them again. Similarly, in case backlog exams have been conducted at colleges for ATKT students, no re-exam needs to be conducted.
College principals in Mumbai said they had begun contacting students. Neha Jagtiani, principal of Bandra-based R D National College, said: “We are the lead college for 14 colleges in Bandra, Khar and Santacruz areas. We have decided to conduct a mock exam on October 1. Exams for undergraduate students will be held from October 5 to October 10, while postgraduate students will sit for their papers from October 12 to October 15. It will be a smooth process since the auto-correct option will assess papers in no time, and we will begin uploading the marks right away. We will announce the timetable latest by next week.”
Jai Hind College Principal Ashok Wadia said that at least 30 per cent students in its cluster are from outside Mumbai. “We have begun contacting them and will conduct a survey on how many will face problems in accessing online infrastructure.”
However, colleges outside Mumbai may find it tough to conduct online exams. Former principal of Ratnagiri’s DBJ college, Dr Shyam Joshi, said: “Around 60 per cent students in our college come from rural areas. There is no guarantee of sustained Internet connection there. Moreover, many who have started working may not have access to the study material. Solutions to these issues are needed.”
When contacted, MU Vice-Chancellor Dr Suhas Pednekar said: “In case a student does not have the required technological facility, we hope social groups and volunteering organisations will offer help. Similarly, for the period of the exams, the university will appeal for uninterrupted electricity and seek appropriate support from Internet providers.”
Meanwhile, admissions for MBA and MMS will begin from the second week of October, once results for final-year exams are announced, Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said in a statement on Wednesday. MBA and MMS exams were conducted by the state Common Entrance Test cell on March 14 and 15, respectively. The results were declared on May 23.
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