Final-year ATKT exam begins; some colleges face technical glitches, others postpone exams

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Published on Sep 26, 2020 12:09 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

The much-awaited online exams for backlogs/allowed to keep term (ATKT) candidates commenced on September 25 in several city colleges. While the process was smooth-sailing for several institutes, a host of institutes experienced teething troubles and technical errors which eventually pushed them to delay the examination process by a few days.

A suburban college had to suddenly postpone ATKT exams on Friday after experiencing technical trouble just before the exams began.

“The format of the exam on the software was not as we had originally decided, so the papers had to be reformatted. Therefore, we decided to postpone the exams by a couple of days,” said the vice-principal of the college on condition of anonymity. She added that the postponement of exam was also suggested by the institute in order to avoid any form of technical glitches once the exams begin.

Some colleges also chose to use more time to train teachers and students on the new format of exams that will be conducted online, and start exams for ATKT students next week.

“Online exams is new for teachers as well as students, so we want them to be thoroughly prepared for the same before the exams begin,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal, RA Podar College, Matunga. She added that the college is currently busy conducting mock tests in every subject for their students before the exams begin.

A circular released by the University of Mumbai (MU) in September specified that colleges would conduct the exams online in multiple-choice questions (MCQ) format. Another circular has also highlighted that all exams should be conducted by October 31 while the results for the same should be announced by the first week of November.

All colleges affiliated to MU have been divided under cluster/lead colleges according to their geographical location, but there has been no clarity on part of the university on the software that colleges should use in order to conduct online exams.

“This has created more confusion for colleges because under the same cluster, all colleges have been asked to use the same software for their exams. In our case, we are already using a different software which the other colleges don’t want to opt for. We are still trying to work around this before we start final exams,” said a senior professor from a south Mumbai college.

“Since this is the first time that an exam of this level is being held online, that too in a new format, some colleges have faced technical glitches. We are in touch with them and have found out that most of them have managed to solve the errors and hope to conduct exams smoothly henceforth,” said Vinod Patil, director, board of examinations and evaluation, MU.

Patil added that the university has created 94 groups of faculty-wise colleges in order to ensure smooth functioning of the backlog exams. “Students who cannot sit for the exams due to some unavoidable or technical reasons, will be given another chance to sit for the examination,” added Patil.

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Friday carried out a protest at MU’s Kalina campus demanding better coordination and communication between the university and all affiliated colleges in order to ensure smooth functioning of online exams.

Some colleges, however, managed to conduct ATKT exams as per schedule on Friday. St Xavier’s College at Dhobi Talao conducted the exams using Google Forms and also managed to ensure proctoring during the exam through the application Zoom. “The exam was conducted successfully, and we hope to continue rest of the exams in similar format,” said Rajendra Shinde, principal of the college.


    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

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