Mumbai University Results Delay

NAGPUR: Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde told the state Legislative Assembly that criminal complaints could be filed against those found guilty for the chaos and delay in Mumbai University results earlier this year. The Education Minister said that the three-member probe committee will soon submit its report over the issue of delay in MU results. “Based on the report of the committee, criminal complaints can also be filed against anyone who will be found guilty for the chaos in online checking,” said Vinod Tawde.

He was replying to a calling attention motion raised on the issue in the Lower House. In October this year, Maharashtra Governor and Chancellor of University of Mumbai, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, had removed Dr Sanjay Deshmukh from the post of Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University for his “gross negligence” which led to inordinate delay in the declaration of university’s exam results.

Merit Trac Services Pvt Ltd was given the task of implementing the on-screen assessment of answer papers. However, there were allegations that shoddy execution of the online assessment system had resulted in a mess and delayed the results.

Leader of Opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, asked whether the VC will face any criminal action for the fiasco and for hitting the careers of lakhs of students. In his reply, Tawde said that the the committee report will decide which criminal sections will be slapped against those who will be named.

Earlier, Minister of State for Higher Education, Ravindra Waikar, admitted that the decision of appointing the company for Online Marking System (OMS) was taken without even consulting the academic and management councils of the university.

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“The three-member committee comprises Principal Secretary (IT), and professors from VJTI and IIT Bombay. As per the facts before us, no agreement was signed before the work order was issued and this is undoubtedly a problem,” Ravindra Waikar said.

BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar questioned whether the government had put in place standard operating procedure (SOP) for the online assessment of answer sheets, which was followed by the university administration.

Ravindra Waikar said the online assessment was recommended by the Rajesh Agarwal Committee in 2013.

“But the VC pushed ahead the tender process for OMS without consulting the academic and management councils,” he said adding that prima facie several mistakes have been committed.
Among the technical problems encountered by the company while checking the answer sheets were delay in uploading of answer books, tagging answer sheets to wrong teachers etc, he said.

All the exams of the Mumbai University were conducted by April 2017, although the results were declared as late as October. The students’ organisations had launched agitations against the university over the delay in results.