College students in the city may no longer have to run around locating their examination centre hours before a test.
The examination department of the University of Mumbai (MU) has come up with a proposal to conduct examinations for final year BA, BCom and BSc students in their own colleges. The proposal has been sent to the university's Board of Examination (BoE) and the university’s vice-chancellor for approval.
Currently, the students are allotted colleges other than the one they are enrolled in as exams centres, ostensibly to allow students to answer the question paper in a college nearer to their homes and to avoid malpractices during the examination. The students of professional courses — engineering, management, BEd and law — which are fewer in numbers compared to those enrolled in courses like BCom, are exempted from this norm.
The move will likely ease the work of MU, which is currently responsible for finding examination centres for more than 1,00,000 final-year degree college students enrolled in more than 200 colleges across the city and Konkan region. It may also prove beneficial for students, who have to hunt for their centre before every examination.
"We are trying to implement some new ideas [for conducting exams]. The engineering and law students don't have to run around looking for their exam centres. We want to introduce the same scheme for the rest of the students . It will save a lot of time and effort," said Deepak Wasave, officiating controller of examination at MU. Last year, the university had rescheduled the examinations to wrap them up in nine days, down from the earlier 45-day schedule.
The proposed move may also help put an end to exam-time blunders caused by MU's mismanagement. In 2015, thousands of third-year BCom students were left in the lurch when their examination centres were shifted at the eleventh hour and the paper was delayed. More recently, several examination centres handed wrong question papers to the students.
"It often becomes very confusing for the colleges that don't teach a particular course and are still tasked with supervising its papers. As we are a commerce college, it becomes very difficult to navigate through 20-25 different subject combinations. I think it's a reasonable move on part of exam department," said Madhavi Pethe, principal, Dahanukar College of Commerce in Vile Parle.
However, some fear the decision will make it easier for students to cheat during examination as supervisors could ignore malpractices, or even encourage their students to cheat . “If the students write papers in their own college they will be more comfortable, but it will also open the doors malpractices,”, said an official from the varsity. Pethe suggested the malpractices can be curbed by vigilance squads sent by the university.