Of 2.19 lakh students who had applied for re-evaluation of their papers to the University of Mumbai between 2014 and April 2016, nearly 73,000, or 30%, had passed the exam for which they were marked ‘failed’.
An RTI filed by activist Vihar Durve revealed that many students had complained about this problem of delay in re-evaluations, leaving them with an extra burden of appearing for allowed-to-keep-term (ATKT) exams, only to find out later that they had passed the exam.
“The university receives crores of rupees from students every year in the name of photocopying and re-evaluation fees. But never do they refund the money to students who were wrongly failed,” said Durve.
According to figures revealed in another RTI filed by Durve last year, between April 2013 and March 2014, the MU made Rs2.67 crore in re-evaluation fee and Rs15.63 lakh for photocopies of answer booklets. In the next two academic sessions, re-evaluation fee has helped garner more than Rs4.8 crore and Rs25.3 lakh for photocopies. The MU charges Rs100 per subject for photocopy of the answer booklet whereas re-evaluation charge is Rs 500 per subject.
Durve received the RTI reply after months of battle with the MU and escalating the matter to the appellate authority. “It shows that the university was trying to hide these details. Instead, they should invest more time and efforts to avoid such instances in the future,” added Durve.
MU registrar MA Khan said re-evaluation fees is charged for getting the answer booklet re-evaluated and not for the benefit of he university. “If a student ends up appearing for an ATKT exam owing to delay in announcing results of re-evaluation and then finds out that s/he has passed the exam already, then we refund the fees charged for the re-exam,” said Khan.