Mumbai: Students and parents fear the recent delays in results which jeopardised the lives of lakhs of students might be repeated in the winter semester examinations of the Mumbai University (MU). Though the university claims to have tightened all the loose strings in the online assessment process, the fact that the same agency is managing the assessment — MeritTrac — is building up a constant fear among students.
But the MU is confident that there would be no errors in the assessment process for winter examinations. In fact, the university has assured every student and parent that the errors which led to the result delay have been rectified. Arjun Ghatule, director (in-charge), board of examinations and evaluation of the MU, said, “We have rectified 99.9 per cent of the errors which led to the result delay. We have improvised the software, modified the systems and eliminated all technical glitches and physical barriers. We assure students there will be no chaos in the winter examination results.”
On the other side, a majority of the students are of the opinion that if an error is caused once there are high probabilities of it being repeated, especially when the cause of error is the same. Rani Gupta, a student said, “We have faced a nightmare. We have been running around for the past three months. We just hope there is no mess in our examination and results this time.” A parent, meanwhile, said, “It is the first time our children faced a chaotic situation of such a large scale. We hope the authorities understand the gravity of the situation.”
The university has analysed the assessment for summer examinations and improvised the entire process. Devanand Shinde, acting Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the MU, said, “Our aim is to streamline the process and create an error-free environment which does not cause any kind of problem for students. Students are our major focus. This time we are communicating and working in unison with teachers, principals, non-teaching staff and concerned personnel involved in the process.”
Amidst all this, no inquiry has been conducted or action taken on MeritTrac for the result delay. MeritTrac managed the entire online assessment through the On-Screen Marking (OSM) system for around 477 university exams this year. The results were delayed by more than two months. “Our focus is on conducting the winter exams in an adequate manner and declaring the results within the specified time,” Shinde added.
Teachers claim detailed training and explanation of the process will help resolve their queries. In the summer examinations even though there was lackof training, there was no error in the evaluation process. Ghatule said, “Despite a new process, there was not a single error in the evaluation process. All the teachers including both examiners and moderators have done a great job.”