A day after the arrests in the engineering scam, University of Mumbai (MU) set up a fact-finding committee to prevent cheating and tampering during and after examinations. The committee, among others, suggested that MU needed to install CCTV cameras and monitor entry and exit of its employees. But months after the recommendations, a very little seems to have changed.
At the time, the MU also promised a foolproof security for examination building in Kalina. Ironically, these promises are still work in progress. “The new examination house should be ready in the next couple of months. All other requirement such as CCTV cameras and biometric entry and exit of employees will follow,” said M A Khan, registrar, MU.
On May 20 last year, eight MU employees were caught by Bhandup police for allegedly sneaking answer sheets of first-year engineering students out of the examination house. The eight men were found to be in possession of at least 92 answer sheets of Applied Mathematics — an exam conducted on May 11, 2016.
The examination house in Kalina has two separate buildings: Jyotiba Phule building has 20 CCTV cameras while the second building, Ambedkar Bhavan, has none. Ambedkar Bhavan is where all answer booklets are corrected and moderated.
“The process to install CCTV cameras is still pending despite floating tenders and receiving fund approvals from the central government,” said an official from the examination house.
In a series of meetings held in 2016, MU vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had promised many security measures. However, the only change introduced to the examination house is frisking of bags of subject examiners and moderators.
Members of the Bombay University College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU) have repeatedly questioned the vice chancellor about his “false promises”.
“Engineering faculty has students in thousands and even then things were out of control for the university. One can only imagine how worse it can get when MU takes the responsibility of digitally assessing papers from all faculties henceforth,” said Madhu Paranjape, general secretary, BUCTU.