With less than a week until most colleges conduct final-year exams online, most universities in the state are in a rush to prepare question banks for various courses. Amid this, no non-teaching staffer from non-agricultural state universities reported to work on Thursday, seeking implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.
While members of Maharashtra State College Universities Employees Action Committee, a collective of eight associations of non-teaching employees and officers from across the state, have been protesting for some time now, Thursday saw all participating in the agitation. All the members threatened to stay away from work from October 1 in case their demands were not fulfilled.
“The recommendations have already been implemented for employees of other universities, and our demands have been pending for over two years now,” said Nagpur University Deputy Registrar Anil Hirekhan, the office-bearer of Maharashtra Universities Officers Forum. Officials said the protest has been delaying the uploading of question paper sets and time-tables on websites, among other things.
As final-year students took to social media to voice their concerns, the Maharashtra Welfare Students Association and Maharashtra Students Union said lack of communication regarding question banks by the universities has led to panic. Kolhapur Univer-sity Director of Examination Gajanan Palse said, “Our backlog examinations begin from October 1, but teachers are expected to submit question banks between September 28 and 30. Exams will be conducted around October 10, but due to the protest, not many employees have been reporting to work,” Marathwada University’s Director of Examination Ganesh Manza said. “We are in the process of uploading question banks, and the mock test will be conducted on October 1,” he added.
Meanwhile, teachers are having a hard time devising multiple choice questions for question banks and question papers, as it is not easy to adapt all subjects to this format. A teacher of a Mumbai-based college said, “It has been very time consuming as subjects under social sciences, such as sociology or literature, are perspective-based and do not lend itself to yes or no kind of questions.”
Clusters of colleges formed under University of Mumbai to prepare time-tables and question banks are in a race to ensure timely completion of tasks.
Principal of Sophia College, Ananda Amrithlal, said that sample MCQs will be shared with students a few days before the exams. “We have shared the time-table with students on our Google groups, and mock tests have been completed. Our exams begin from October 1, and we will share sample MCQs before that,” she added.
RD National College Principal Neha Jagtiani said, “The suggested time-tables have been sent to our cluster. Each college will be displaying them. The question banks have come for some courses…”
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