Finally, after a prolonged wait, the University of Mumbai (MU) released a circular, on Tuesday, stating that the pending final year regular theory examinations of all affiliated colleges and universities will be conducted from October 1 to October 17 online in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. All theory examinations will be conducted online via the multiple choice questions (MCQ) format with each paper of 50 marks for one hour based on the syllabus taught till March 13, 2020.
Competent authorities of MU released the circular stating, "The final semester theory examinations of undergraduate (UG), postgraduate (PG) and diploma courses of the academic year 2019-2020 will be conducted online with multiple choice questions (MCQ). All online theory examinations will be conducted for a period of one hour for 50 marks."
The circular further stated, "Regular theory online examinations should start from October 1 and be completed by October 17, 2020. Backlog examinations should start from September 25. The final semester or backlog practical, project, viva voce or oral examinations should be conducted online using Zoom App, Google Meet, Skype or other meeting apps or, as required by telephone with the help of college teachers from September 15."
A senior officer of MU said, "Question banks will be prepared for each subject with the help of teachers. Multiple question paper sets will be made available for the examinations. Colleges should take practice examinations by giving sample MCQ to prep students. For students with special needs, colleges should provide necessary facilities such as 20 minutes extra time or approval for a writer."
The university has directed colleges to start the assessment process immediately after the online theory examination of each subject and prepare the marks of students. The circular stated, "Since the assessment of theory examinations is of 50 marks, it should be converted into maximum (60, 75, 80, 100 and so on) of the relevant subject and uploaded in the online system within two days."
The officer said, "We have prepared stream-wise clusters, such as traditional, management, engineering, architecture, pedagogy, physical education, law, pharmacy and fine arts colleges. One college in each cluster will act as the lead college and carry out the responsibility of planning the examinations. The schedule of online theory examinations should be prepared by the lead college in consultation with the colleges in the cluster in such a way that the examinations of all colleges will be conducted at the same time."
Alternative arrangements to be made for students who cannot appear for online exams from home: MU
For students who do not have the facility to take online examinations, MU has directed colleges to make alternative arrangements. The local administration should be requested by contacting the concerned collector, tehsildar, police and electricity department if their assistance is required.
Sources of MU said, "Some students do not have internet connection or computer at home. Others are facing issues such as electricity supply cuts or lack of technical facilities. Arrangements such as allowing these students to appear for examinations from computer labs of nearby colleges will be made after consulting with local authorities. Physical distancing and safety measures will be followed as probably 15 to 20 students will be allowed to sit in one computer lab."
MU further stated, "If all the above mentioned options are not possible, examinations will be conducted using the offline method in exceptional circumstances."