The University of Mumbai (MU) has invited bids for on-screen assessment of all of its answer sheets, taking the first step in the direction of much needed reform in the examination process.
The university, in a bid to cut down any malpractices that can occur at the time of answer sheet assessment, had decided to take the entire process to a digital platform. The 'on-screen assessment' will involve scanning of answer booklets and their assessment by teachers on computers, completely doing away with the pen-and-paper format of checking answer sheets.
Currently, the method is used only for the engineering section.
According to the university's plan, the service provider will install the networking and computer hardware, software system, and scanning facility at the varsity campus and designated scanning centres. The tender document has also proposed to install a nodal centre in the university campus to connect it with its affiliated colleges during the evaluation cycle.
A source from MU said that the university will use a new building at its Kalina campus, which is still under construction. It's still unclear if the university will be setting up assessment and evaluation centres at all of its existing Central Assessment Programme (CAP) centres.
Under CAP, the evaluation of answer sheets are assessed from a cluster of colleges at a particular centre.
The tender document also proposes that the scanning of around 2 lakh answer sheets will be carried out by the university's own staff. The move will likely add a huge burden to the university's already staff-crunched examination department, with a number of staffers appointed on contract.
In addition to the shortage of manpower, there are other hurdles as well. HT had last week reported that a month after announcing the new evaluation method the varsity has made little progress, with no workshops held to train the teachers and no infrastructure put in place. College principals had said they are unsure if the on-screen assessment project will be implemented from the current semester.