Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Friday rapped the Mumbai University for its submission on staff shortage to justify a new ’60-40 evaluation system’ for Law students. The university, which filed an affidavit through its registrar, said that it had introduced the new evaluation system, comprising a semester-end exam for 60 marks and internal assessments, class projects etc for 40 marks, to avoid delays in evaluation of examination papers and the declaration of result.
In the affidavit, the university said that, in the past, exam result had been delayed because of a shortage of staff to evaluate answer sheets. It said that for the 53 Law colleges under its jurisdiction, it only had 47 permanent teachers and added that often guest lecturers and lawyers had to fill in to conduct classes in these colleges.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and MS Karnik, however, took strong exception to the university’s submission on the shortage of staff. “Why don’t you put a lock and close down the university?” the bench asked. It also asked if the court too, when facing a shortage of judges, should ask “lawyers” to preside over cases and pass judgements.
“What sort of an explanation is this?” the bench asked. It was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by a practising lawyer, and a law student from the university, challenging the 60-40 evaluation system for the three-year and five-year LLB course.
The petitioners also challenged a similar system introduced for the five-year BBA-LLB (Bachelor of Business Administration and Law) course in the university. For BBA-LLB, 75 percent marks depend on semester exams and the remaining on internal assessments, projects, attendance etc.
The petitioners have said, among other things, that the new evaluation system lowers the standards of education and the examination system. The university’s counsel, advocate Rui Rodrigues, however, argued before the court that the new system was not hampering the standard of education imparted or the examinations conducted for the students. The bench is likely to continue the hearing on Monday.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)