Online assessment at Mumbai University to end cheating in exams

The process will create a digital record of the exam papers and help in producing faster results

Mumbai: The Mumbai University has announced to evaluate all answer papers through the online mode for examinations conducted from April onwards. The aim is to make the process efficient, avoid the malpractices and delays in declaring results, some of the problems that have been ailing the system till now.

The University was already conducting online assessment for its engineering papers as a pilot study to ascertain whether the mode is suitable. It was found that the results of these papers could be declared within 15 to 20 days. From April onwards all the courses will be assessed through this mode, said the Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh making the announcement on Tuesday.

It is expected to be a mammoth exercise as all the answer sheets including supplementary sheets will have to be scanned. This will involve scanning of 19.50 lakh answer papers with every answer paper comprising 32 pages, excluding the supplementary sheets.

The evaluators will be provided a username and password with which they will be able to access all the papers. The university will be conducting orientations and workshops for teachers to help them ‘mentally prepare’ for this new mode of assessment, said Deshmukh.

The onscreen mode is also expected to reduce expenses involved in transportation of answer papers. The university will soon be floating a tender to set the ball rolling, the VC said, adding that the university is also planning to reduce the period over which examinations are conducted.

Santhosh Gangurde, the state vice president of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena was sceptical of the initiative going smooth. “He is a Chancellor of announcements and does not ensure implementing these announcements,” he said. He also pointed out that the students were still not getting their mark sheets on time. “The university is giving handwritten mark sheets to students who wrote their exams two years ago,” he added.

The university’s examination house is reeling under a staff crunch and plagued with issues such as delay in declaring results. It also lacks a controller of examinations and presently has only an officiating controller. VC Deshmukh said during the meet that the university is finding it difficult to find someone for the post as past interviews have shown that many candidates are ‘eligible but not suitable’. The officiating controller of Examinations had offered to resign recently from the stressful job as the examination house has to handle the burden of conducting examination and evaluation process for 750 of its affiliated colleges.

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