Mumbai: A security guard at Mumbai University’s Kalyan sub-centre was asked to invigilate an MSc exam that was held on December 30. There was no shortage of teachers and coordinators for supervising the exam, as reported by Mid-day.
According to a student who took the exam, the director of the sub-centre, Adwait M Vaidya, made an on-duty security guard to supervise the examinees.
“I found something amiss, so after the exam, I asked around and found out the man who served as the invigilator was Kisan Kangne, a security guard. I got to know that the man is educated. One of the staff even told me that nothing wrong had taken place. I was completely shocked by this,” said a student.
Adwait Vaidya was quoted by mid-day saying, “The minimum qualification needed for a person to be an invigilator is graduation. Also, only two students appeared for the exam that day. To the best of my knowledge, the person (Kangne) was not on duty that day. Our concern was to conduct the exam and on time.”
Academicians have raised concerns against the act because they believe that an on-duty guard cannot be asked to invigilate an exam despite the minimum qualification for supervision.
“In the 1970s, university professors and teachers did not take up the task of invigilation. However, university authorities realised engaging outsiders as invigilators comes with inherent concerns. After several discussions, teachers volunteered to do invigilation. Whether there were five, two or even one student, as per the rules, making an on-duty security guard do invigilation is wrong, and this is not about his education or qualification. This is about the rules,” a staff member of the MU Thane sub-centre said.
Dr Subhash Athavale, general secretary of Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA), stated, “The task of an invigilator is to ensure fair conduction of examination. Although an exam supervisor’s job appears straightforward and simple, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. Without seasoned supervisors, an institution cannot administer a fair exam. They can at the most include administrative staff like clerks in the absence of a teacher. Action should be taken against the person who made an on-duty security guard an invigilator."
G B Raje, president of Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU), said, “The minimum qualification required to be an invigilator is graduation. However, in case there was a shortage of requisite invigilators or staff at the centre, they could have called in for graduate students of the staff of nearby colleges—an option many colleges opt for in case of a shortage of invigilators. Making an on-duty security guard take up an invigilator’s task is wrong.”
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