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Meet the vice-chancellor who might resolve Mumbai University’s exam results mess

Devanand Shinde took charge of the post after Sanjay Deshmukh was asked to go on an indefinite leave amid the chaos in MU’s examination department

mumbai Updated: Aug 11, 2017 11:52 IST
Musab Qazi
Musab Qazi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai University,Vice-Chancellor,Sanjay Deshmukh
Devanand Shinde.(HT)

Devanand Shinde, vice-chancellor (V-C) of Shivaji University, Kolhapur, who is filling in for the University of Mumbai (MU) V-C Sanjay Deshmukh said declaring delayed examination results was his priority.

Shinde took charge of the post on Wednesday, after Deshmukh was asked to go on an indefinite leave amid the mess in MU’s examination department. The university has missed several deadlines to declare results and thousands of answer sheets remain to be evaluated.

In addition to his current responsibilities, the Kolhapur university V-C will lead MU. Speaking to HT on Thursday morning, a day after he took charge, Shinde, who is in Mumbai, said he is still trying to understand the university’s examination and assessment system. “I don’t know much about MU’s system and I haven’t had much of a briefing. But I plan to visit both the Fort and Kalina campuses of the university and understand the issues,” he said.

Shinde was the head of chemical technology department at Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), Aurangabad, before he became Shivaji University V-C two years ago. He has also handled the charge of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) V-C for a few days.

However, this will be Shinde’s first experience with the on-screen assessment system, a feature Mumbai university had introduced this year for all exams. “Shivaji University has a manual assessment system, although we have been using information and communication technology in some of our activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dhiren Patel, the director of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), who has been appointed as a temporary pro V-C has already started his work. He said the university’s evaluation system has some “issues” that need to be addressed. “The university doesn’t have a vision document. I have set up a committee to follow-up with the stakeholders and push them to carry out their responsibilities,” he said.

Deshmukh has been under fire for his decision to overhaul the assessment process by adopting an on-screen marking (OSM) system. The decision caused a huge delay in the results, as MU couldn’t appoint an agency for a long time and the technical glitches continue to plague the system. The governor had set July 31 as the deadline to declare all the results. But the university failed to do so. Several student organisations had demanded that Deshmukh be sacked.

However, the OSM isn’t the only ambitious plan of Deshmukh that has been served a reality check. His plans to set up a campus in the United States, expand the infrastructure at Kalina campus and create an endowment fund have seen little progress. He was forced to go back on other decisions such as purchasing an aircraft to train students in flying, scrapping internal assessment and re-evaluation of internal exams.

First Published: Aug 10, 2017 13:21 IST