Mumbai: Students and faculty fear another result delay as the online assessment of summer semester examinations of Mumbai University (MU) will be managed by the previous agency MeritTrac.
This move is a contradiction because the state education ministry was supposed to hire a new agency as MeritTrac was responsible for the recent result delay, which inconvenienced lakhs of students. Currently, the university has declared its timetable for the summer semester examinations starting in April. At present, MeritTrac is managing the online assessment of recent winter semester examinations.
The agency will continue to manage assessment of upcoming summer examinations too, since a new agency has not been hired. MU officials claimed that they have rectified the process and made the necessary changes, following the mess which delayed results by over three months. A senior official of MU, said, “The tendering process to hire a new agency will take time. We have already announced the examination timetable for summer examinations which will begin in a month. Also, a contract of three years has been signed with MeritTrac so they will continue.”
On the contrary, the state education ministry was initially adamant about replacing this agency. Vinod Tawde, state education minister for school and higher education, had earlier said, “The agency will be penalised for the chaos they created and will not be allowed to manage assessment of MU examinations in the future.”
In addition, Tawde had also mentioned in January that the process to appoint a new agency had begun. Tawde had said, “A new agency would be appointed for the summer semester examinations. MeritTrac would be charged a penalty for glitches which led to a delay in results by over three months as per the ministry.” University officials said that the decision to hire a new agency or penalise MeritTrac will be taken by the state but no action has yet been taken. Vinod Tawde was not available for a comment on this issue.
Students asked, how can the state allow the same agency to manage assessment despite being well aware of the delay it caused? Neha Sen, a student said, “This same agency managed our assessment of last summer semester examinations and we had to face a nightmare of over three months. There were several errors in our results. And now, they are allowing the same agency to conduct another assessment without even taking any action against it.”