Final Year Examination: MU opts for MCQ-based exam

Final year exams of the University of Mumbai (MU) will be based on multiple-choice questions (MCQ) model limited to one hour, as decided by the academic council of the varsity. The final decision regarding time-table and mode of conduct of exams will be taken by the State government.

Sources from MU revealed that question banks will be created for each subject paper. The source said, "Students can appear for each paper from home using internet connection. Each exam paper will be of 50 marks based on MCQ model for one hour. A Question Bank will be created of the syllabus taught until March 13 for all final year Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate (PG) programmes."

Heads of cluster universities will manage exam preparation such as formulation of question papers, allotment of work to exam staff and prevention of acts of cheating or copying. A senior member of MU said, "We are trying to conduct final year exams using an entire software-based online system which might be outsourced. This can serve as a common platform for all students, teachers and examination staff."

Gayatri Nair, a final year Arts student said, "How can I appear for an MCQ-based exam when our answers are generally above 1,000 words? Also, most of our answers are subjective where we need to explain, elaborate, draw comparisons or give metaphors. How will this information be turned into an MCQ model? The university should consider other modes such as an 'open book' or 'assignment-based' exam."

In addition, students have highlighted issues such as the lack of internet accessibility, electricity supply failure and the absence of laptops, computers or smartphones to appear for exams. Nandakumar Lal, a final year student from Nalasopara, said, "I have been facing sudden power cuts for six to eight hours every day. How am I supposed to appear for the exams if the electricity just goes off suddenly in the middle of the one hour paper?"

Supriya Karande, senate member of MU said, "Students who are unable to appear for exams due to lack of internet or power supply should be allowed to appear from computer labs of nearby universities and colleges. The university should make necessary arrangements where students can be seated by maintaining physical distancing along with precautionary measures."

Uday Samant, higher and technical education minister of Maharashtra had stated on Friday, "The proposal regarding final year exams should be discussed by the academic council and board of examination of respective universities at the earliest. After discussion, all universities should submit a final decision regarding mode and exam schedule by 12 pm on September 7."

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