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‘Mumbai university’s digital system 30% more efficient, has lesser room for malpractices’

Mumbai city news: Sanjay Deshmukh , vice-chancellor, MU, told HT about problems with the online assessment system and attempts to sabotage it

mumbai Updated: Jul 03, 2017 09:59 IST
Musab Qazi
Most of the initial hiccups in the on-screen marking system have been resolved, said Sanjay Deshmukh , vice-chancellor, MU.
Most of the initial hiccups in the on-screen marking system have been resolved, said Sanjay Deshmukh , vice-chancellor, MU.(HT File Photo)

Sanjay Deshmukh is the vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai. He spoke to HT about problems with the online assessment system, attempts to sabotage it and why it’s still more efficient than manual correction.

Degree college students are anxiously awaiting their results. When can we expect them to be declared?

We aim to issue the results in the next 10 to 15 days. Teachers are excited and have been turning up in large numbers for assessment work. Most of the initial hiccups in the on-screen marking (OSM) system have been resolved. We are monitoring progress daily. It’s just that there were more issues than we had envisaged. Standardising the process took time, but we hope that from next year, the process will be completed in 20 to 25 days.

Why didn’t Mumbai university wait for another semester before implementing the project?

We have been using OSM to evaluate the 2 lakh answer sheets of our technology faculty’s for the past four years. The decision to expand the project wasn’t made in haste. We have been promoting it among our teachers for the past year.

We never heard of hiccups in implementing the OSM project over the past four years. What went wrong this time?

There are always teething problem with new projects. We trained around 10,500 teachers to use OSM and were gearing up to develop a foolproof system. We gave the principals internet dongles, which many didn’t use to assess papers online. If someone tries to create the problems at the last moment, we have to overcome them.

Did people from within the varsity administration try to derail and sabotage the project?

I can’t blame anyone. People from inside the university and those outside were involved in the engineering paper scam last year. There are greater opportunities for malpractices in a manual system. If the new technology is used properly, the system will be foolproof.

Are you aware that the students are suffering owing to results being delayed? LLB admissions are also in a fix

I know that LLB admissions are being delayed. My niece was selected for a foreign university but wasn’t able to secure admission, as the results haven’t been declared yet. I can’t forgive myself for that. But, these are rare cases. We usually issue letters to foreign universities, requesting that the students be allowed more time to furnish their results.

Some teachers said on-screen assessment is more complicated and time-consuming. Is that correct?

For those teachers, it might be. Some elderly professors are not well-versed with computers. However, I have records stating that many teachers are able to assess papers faster using this system. OSM is 30% more efficient than manual evaluation.