MumbaiThe search committee appointed to look for a new vice-chancellor (V-C) for the University of Mumbai (MU) has received 96 applications for the post. The post became vacant in October when state governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who is the chancellor of state universities, removed Sanjay Deshmukh, who was appointed in June 2015, after poor implementation of the on-screen marking (OSM) system delayed the examination results of lakhs of students by almost six months. Devandand Shinde, V-C of Shivaji University, Kolhapur, has been serving as the acting V-C for more than three months. Bhushan Gagrani, vice-chairman and managing director of City and Industrial Development Corporation CIDCO, who represents the state government in the three-member search panel, said that the governor wants to appoint the new V-C by the end of March. “The applications will be scrutinised to find which of the candidates are eligible for the position. These applications will be presented before the committee, which will, in turn, decide who should be invited for an interview,” he said. On January 10, the panel had issued an advertisement seeking applications. Wednesday was the final day to apply for the post. The applicants for the posts are required to fulfil various criteria enlisted in a state government order issued in May 2009. In 2015, the then search committee had received over 150 applications from across the country, of them it shortlisted 19 candidates for an interview. In 2010, there were 98 contenders of the post, of them 20 were shortlisted. A list of five recommended candidates was sent to the governor for the final selection on both occasions.Box Essential Qualifications and experience to be vice-chancellor - Earned doctorate and good academic record - 15 years experience in higher education - Minimum five research papers published in peer reviewed journals after PhD or published books - At least five years of administrative experience in higher education - Execution of at least one major research project - Experience of working with international bodies - Experience of organising events such as workshops and seminars Desirable experience - Experience of working on the statutory authorities of university - Experience of handling quality issues, assessment and accreditation procedure - Experience in guiding PhD students - Experience at handling youth development workExamination mess: How it unfoldedJanuary 2017—In a meeting held in January, MU vice chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh announced his decision to introduce digital assessment in an attempt to cut down malpractices and tampering of answer sheets. February 2017—The first of these tenders were floated in the last week of February, followed by a second tender floated in mid-March, since the first tender could not attract the necessary three bidders. The process for inviting bidders for the third time started in the first week of April as MU was falling short of bidders once again. April 2017— By the last week of April, MU announced the name of Merit Trac, a Bangaluru-based firm, to implement on-screen assessment, by which time most teachers had gone on summer break May 2017—While scanning of papers was supposed to take place from May 2 with the help of 50 scanning machines and 250 employees, by May 4 less than five officers were scanning answer booklets which delayed assessment work by another couple of weeks May 2017—Officials in MU finally announced that digital assessment of papers began on May 12. July 2016 - Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, as chancellor of all the universities, asked the university to declare the results by July 31. The varsity failed to do that. August 2016 - The governor sent MU V-C Sanjay Deshmukh on an indefinite leave and appointed Shivaji University, Kolhapur V-C in his place. Dhiren Patel, director of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga, was appointed as acting pro V-C. Arjun Ghatule, controller of examination at Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), was appointed as the new in-charge director, board of examination and evaluation. September 2016 - The university finished declaring the results of all 477 examinations, but over 9,000 students were still awaiting their results. September 2017—In a meeting held at the university’s Fort campus, it was revealed how close to 28,800 answer booklets can’t be traced on the assessment software, one of the main reasons for individual results of students being withheld. It was then decided to award average marks to students based on their performance in other subjects October 2017—MU finally managed to announce all results, even of students whose answer booklets were lost. However, results of thousands of re-evaluation requests are still pending with the MU. October 2017—State governor and chancellor of all state universities, Ch Vidyasagar Rao made sacked Sanjay Deshmukh for his decisions that led to delay in results by almost six months.