Published: 12th May 2022
Why are exams at Mumbai University being held outside the timeframe given by state gov't?
A student protest was held at the Kalina campus of the university where Vinod Patil, exam in charge, had no answers to the questions posed by the students
After an intense tussle with Mumbai University over the conduct of examinations in the online mode (which was ultimately declined), the students of the varsity are now facing another obstacle.
For students pursuing various courses, their exams will begin on May 17. This schedule violates the order given by the Maharashtra government which stated that exams should be held between June 1 and July 15. Besides this, the notice of exam timetable was not provided 21 days prior to the commencement of the exam, as per guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC). So, what did the students make of this decision? A student protest led by the Maharashtra division of NSUI (National Students' Union of India) was held at the Kalina campus of Mumbai University on Wednesday, May 12. EdexLive caught up with the students to understand their dilemma.
What's the reasoning?
"When posed with the question as to why the university is going against the state government order, Vinod Patil, the exam in charge at Mumbai University, had no reply for us and he simply left the site of protest," says Faisal Shaikh, State Vice-President, NSUI Mumbai. He went on to add that the students are only hoping for a rational response from the university, just like how it was easier for them to accept offline exams when they were given the reasoning that industries are not keen on hiring graduates who have cleared online exams.
"How can the students be prepared for the exams if they are receiving the question banks just days before attempting the papers?" Faisal questions. He went on to state that if the authorities simply refuse to answer a valid question then that just proves that something is awry at the university.
"There are several courses for which the students have not received the question banks till now. How can people studying Engineering and Law prepare for offline exams with just PowerPoint presentations? Even if they do provide it now, how can we study them all in time?" asks Tanuj Agrahari, a final year Automobile Engineering student.
Tanuj states that one reason provided by the varsity is that postponing the exams would mean that those who wish to pursue their further studies abroad would be affected in terms of schedule and applications. "Taking action this way would be unfair as only a select percentage of students wish to go abroad and even then, their formalities begin only much later," laments Tanuj. The problems are exacerbated even further as the issue of students' hostel accommodation is still not resolved.
Just not enough time
For those who have been fortunate enough to get the question bank, the problems didn't end there either. "We received the question bank only a couple of days ago. But it is 328 pages long and contains close to 500 questions. So basically, we have to prepare the entire syllabus within such a short period of time," says Priya Thakkar, a final year Law student. She even states that the syllabus has been completed in a hurry after offline classes resumed and this has led to concepts not being made clear and various portions being completely omitted.
The exam fever has even messed up the mental well-being of several students as both Tanuj and Priya reported acquaintances attempting to take their own lives. Faisal Shaikh said,
"If our reasonable questions are not met with answers from the university, we would soon go on a hunger strike. Unless and until our demands are not met, our fight will continue."
When Edexlive reached out to the university, spokesperson Lilashar Bansod maintained that a tentative date of commencement of the exam was shared with the students back in March itself. When asked why the university was going against the state government's order of conducting exams from June 1, he replied that postponing exams now would affect the application process of those who wished to pursue higher studies abroad.
Vinod Patil, the exam in charge, was unavailable to comment on the issue.