Mumbai University fails to kickstart on-screen evaluation process

Almost two months after the announcement and just a month away from the exams, the University of Mumbai has not been able to kickstart its ambitious on-screen evaluation process to assess roughly 19.5 lakh answersheets for the upcoming exams. On Monday, the University extended the deadline for the tender process from March 17 to March 23, as it failed to get any response.

A recent circular uploaded on the university’s website mentioned a revision in criteria for the bidders. While the annual turnover condition was brought down from Rs 100 crore to Rs 30 crore, the minimum technical score requirement for the bidder was brought down from 70 to 60. “The university did not get enough response in the first round and there was only one bidder as a result of which, we could not go further with the process. We are hopeful that more agencies would approach after the relaxation in criteria and extension in application deadline,” said MA Khan, Registrar, University of Mumbai.

In January, Mumbai University vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had announced that all the evaluations done by the University would be through the on-screen process from April. The initiative was expected to reduce the malpractice of tampering with answersheets. Through this process, all the answersheets would be scanned at the university and would be then made available for assessment, for the evaluators, on computers. Until now, only the answersheets of Engineering stream are corrected on-screen. The decision would mean that close to 19.5 lakh answersheets would have to be evaluated by the University, which, as per experts, is a Herculean task especially considering the slow pace of setting up the process. Poor response in the tenders will mean a further delay in the process, said a university official. Sanjay Vairal, ex-senate member at the University said that the initiative can boomerang if it’s not implemented well. “There were several technical glitches in the engineering evaluation process when it was introduced. The University should take lessons from that and complete the initial set-up well in advance to avoid such issues “ he added.

Colleges, meanwhile, are yet to get any instructions about the process. “The University has till date not come up with any notification after the initial announcement of on-screen evaluation. There needs to be training for all the teachers which is not announced yet. The delay in the process can affect colleges and students to a large extent,” said the principal of a college.

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