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Monitoring assessment of answer papers not part of my day-to-day work: Mumbai University VC

Deshmukh has been asked to resign following MU’s delay in declaring students’ results.

mumbai Updated: Sep 27, 2017 13:52 IST
Mumbai University,Mumbai news,Sanjay Deshmukh
The MU had adopted online assessment of answer papers — On-Screen Marking System (OMS) — in order to flush out malpractices from the process and make it transparent.(HT File)

Mumbai University vice chancellor, Sanjay Deshmukh, who is on his way out, had told the Governor that monitoring the assessment of answer papers was not part of his day to day work.

Deshmukh has been asked to resign following MU’s delay in declaring students’ results.

It has now been revealed that the vice chancellor in his written response to the Governor’s office tried to shirk off direct responsibility over the assessment of papers, worsening the case for his continuation.

The Governor’s office on June 30 and July 1 had sent the VC two letters, asking him to detail the steps taken by the MU to overcome the delay in declaring exam results of the students.

In his reply dated July 3, Deshmukh wrote, “I agree that there were some lapses from the university staff, which have after continuous monitoring, been identified and overcome. For the last 50 days, I have been personally monitoring the assessment process on daily basis, which is actually not part of my day-to-day work.”

The letter further stated : “I apologise for the delay that is taking place during the gestation year, though every care is being taken to educate and motivate the stakeholders basically to overcome the inertia of acquiring technical skills which is need of the hour.”

The letter was addressed to the Governor’s secretary B. Venugopal Reddy. HT has a copy of the letter.

Sources in the government told HT that the response had left the Governor fuming. Officials said that the Governor had questioned how a vice chancellor of the university, considered its principal academic and executive officer, can say that monitoring of the assessment of answer papers is not part of his work.

“The Governor, in an internal meeting, had said if declaring exam results on time was not the VC’s responsibility, then who’s was it? He wanted to sack the VC that day itself, but then there were worries about delaying exam results further,” said a senior official with the state secretariat.

Thus. it was decided not to take any action against the VC until all results are declared. However, after missing two deadlines, the Governor decided to send Deshmukh on indefinite leave, the sources revealed.

The MU had adopted online assessment of answer papers — On-Screen Marking System (OMS) — in order to flush out malpractices from the process and make it transparent. However, lack of preparations and infrastructure led to the mess, and added to the students’ suffering.

HT on August 13 had reported how the state government had opposed the idea of adopting OMS in one go and advised the university VC to introduce the system gradually, in phases. However, Deshmukh went ahead with the same against the government’s advice.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 13:52 IST