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Mumbai University exam mess not sabotage, say cops. Incompetence then?

Governor Rao had sought a police report after university authorities suspected sabotage, said highly placed sources in the government

mumbai Updated: Sep 21, 2017 00:10 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai University,Exam Mess,Ch Vidyasagar Rao
The MU is facing flak for the unprecedented delay in declaring results of most of the courses, risking the future of thousands of students.

In its report to governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, the state intelligence wing of the Maharashtra police ruled out the possibility of sabotage behind the goof-up in the online assessment of University of Mumbai (MY) exam papers, which resulted in an unprecedented delay in declaring results. The report was prepared by senior IPS officer and state intelligence commissioner Sanjay Barve. Governor Rao had sought the report after university authorities suspected sabotage, said highly placed sources in the government.

MU vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, who is currently on indefinite leave following a directive by the governor because of the delay in declaring results, had sent a letter to Rao last month raising doubts over the goof-ups in the online assessment. He had also requested the governor to initiate a probe to ascertain whether technical issues or sabotage was the reason for the mess.

Sources said the governor decided to verify them and asked Barve to investigate and submit a report.

The Raj Bhavan (governor’s office) neither refuted nor admitted to the development. Venugopal Reddy, the governor’s secretary, did not respond to calls or messages. Barve, too, remained unavailable for comment.

The MU is facing flak for the unprecedented delay in declaring results of most of the courses, risking the future of thousands of students. Even after almost five months, the results of more than 9,000 answer papers are yet to be declared. It has failed to follow multiple deadlines set up by the governor to declare all the results.

The MU had adopted online assessment of answer papers, which is On-Screen Marking System (OMS) to assess the papers in order to flush out mismanagement and make the process transparent. However, lack of preparations and infrastructure led to chaos.

Taking up the matter seriously, the governor sent the vice-chancellor on indefinite forced leave for missing deadlines set up by him for declaring results. He was also sent a show cause notice on August 1.

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

A senior official from higher and technical department said the OMS is the best practice in the profession and has been adopted by premier varsities across the world, but following the mess in Mumbai University they are wondering what to do next. “We would like it to continue with it, but that decision has to be taken by the university only,” the officer said requesting anonymity.

Read more:
Results mess aftermath: Mumbai colleges have 55 days to cover portion taught in 90 days

Online system that delayed Mumbai university’s results may face axe

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 00:10 IST