Mumbai university theory exams got off to a partially troubled start on Thursday, with centres in at least nine colleges impacted by the teachers’ boycott and delays in downloading online question papers. This was the first day of the TYBCom exams, for which more than 86,000 students are appearing.
In eight colleges, papers could not be downloaded fast enough, causing a 10 to 15-minute delay, said university officials, who added that students were given extra time.
At Sathaye College, Vile Parle, the exam started 75 minutes late. The college also faced a shortage of invigilators because of the strike, and had to rope in teachers from other institutions. “We will be deploying the same staff for the rest of the exams,” said principal Kavita Rege.
University officials downplayed the delays, saying that in most centres, exams took place smoothly and teachers’ protests were peaceful. “It was by and large smooth,” said TP Madhu Nair, dean of the commerce faculty, Mumbai university.
There were also reports that mass copying had taken place in at least one college, because inexperienced supervisors had to replace regular teachers. “We have heard about this but are waiting to get the report, so I can’t comment yet,” said DG Wasave, controller of exams, Mumbai university.
There had been uncertainty about exams on Thursday, given the ongoing teachers’ boycott and the disrupted practical exams. But in most centres, exams went off smoothly, with non-teaching staff, graduate students and teachers from unaided sections helping out.
Teachers protested peacefully outside colleges, and claimed invigilation in some centres had not been up to par. “In many colleges, supervision was just a formality, no one really bothered,” said CR Sadasivan, president of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union.