Students Put Careers on Hold as Mumbai University Delays Results
Students protest outside the Mumbai University campus in Kalina.
Students protest outside the Mumbai University campus in Kalina.(Photo: The Quint)

Students Put Careers on Hold as Mumbai University Delays Results

Twenty-year-old Shannon Naguiera, a journalism student pursuing his graduation from a college affiliated with Mumbai University, had it all planned. With his IELTS exam cleared, Shannon was all set to apply to the University of Toronto in Canada to pursue his Masters in Journalism. All he needed were his graduation results from Mumbai University, which were to be released on 31 July. But one week since the deadline, with no result or mark-sheet in sight, and the deadline to apply to the college of his choice already up, Shannon has no option but to put his plans on hold for a year.

Shannon discusses his next course of action with friends.
Shannon discusses his next course of action with friends.
(Photo: The Quint)
I had to submit my graduation marksheet by July, to be able to qualify for a student visa and then apply for a postgraduate degree to the University of Toronto. But because of this delay in announcing results, I am missing out on an entire year. How do I justify to them that I’m a graduate if I don’t even have a marksheet?
Shannon Naguiera

Like Shannon, careers of over four lakh students are on the line as the Mumbai University skipped its first deadline for announcing results. The second deadline is set for 5 August, but there’s still no sign of the results.

Faced with uncertainty, students have had to make alternative plans. BMM student Mansi Joshi was planning to apply for a job after her graduation. But now as she awaits her results, she has chosen to take admission in Mumbai University again for a Masters’ degree.

Mansi Joshi heads to her MA class in Mumbai University campus.
Mansi Joshi heads to her MA class in Mumbai University campus.
(Photo: The Quint)
I am taking provisional admission in mass communication and they are allowing me to sit for lectures in the MA course, but it’s very difficult to apply for a job at a company as they are asking for certificates for all semesters. So, I couldn’t even apply and sit for interviews.
Mansi Joshi

Out of 477 courses being offered by Mumbai University, results of 212 examinations are yet to be declared as of 5 August. With over 25 percent commerce stream answer sheets and 22 percent law course exams still pending evaluation. Last year, results were declared in June, but with assessments being done through an on-screen process this year, University officials say technological glitches are the main reason for the delay.

So far we have declared 253 results and 224 results are yet to be declared (as of 4 August). We have ready data of over 60 to 70 examinations in our result declaration system but we are receiving lacunae from the service providers and we are solving that. We are trying to get the data of every single student and then we will declare results.
Deepak Wasave, Director of Examination

But many students, like Abhishek Bhat, a final year law student, are questioning the decision to go completely digital with evaluations without training the teachers properly and securing the necessary infrastructure.

Abhishek Bhat waits for information on results at the Mumbai University campus.
Abhishek Bhat waits for information on results at the Mumbai University campus.
(Photo: The Quint)
This year they have moved to online checking from a manual evaluation process, but the problem is that the teachers don’t even know how it’s done. Most of the teachers have raised this concern that the online systems are not working, servers are down and teachers don’t even know what the online correction pattern is. It’s creating a lot of hassle for them.
Abhishek Bhat, student

The issue has also taken a political turn as various students’ bodies have been holding protests outside the campus. Twenty-year-old Saroj Bansode, a final year engineering student belongs to one such body. Faced with losing an academic year, Saroj hit the streets demonstrating against the delay.

Saroj Bansode protests outside Mumbai University campus.
Saroj Bansode protests outside Mumbai University campus.
(Photo: The Quint)
I cannot apply for MTech this year. A lot of students are just sitting at home right now. Who will compensate for their losses? Will the government compensate?
Saroj Bansode, student

Swapnil Jawale, a 26-six-year-old psychology student, wanted to head back home to Nashik and apply for a job right away. Swapnil cannot afford the costs of renting a house in Mumbai anymore, but with the uncertainty over results he is forced to stay on for another month.

Swapnil reached Mumbai University to meet fellow students.
Swapnil reached Mumbai University to meet fellow students.
(Photo: The Quint)
I’m unable to decide what to do right now. I’m trying to move in with a friend right now till the results are out. I wanted to go home and work and then maybe a year or so later, do my Masters in psychology. But all plans are on hold right now
Swapnil Jawale, student

In a bid to fasten the paper correction process, MU officials are trying to reach out to more teachers. But with the new academic year already in progress, engaging more teachers looks difficult.

We are encouraging teachers by giving double the remuneration compared to what it was earlier. We are motivating teachers, but the fact is that this is not April or May when the teacher have to assess only papers. Because 1 June is the date of admission and the beginning of all academic year, teachers are busy with other work as well. The Vice Chancellor has spoken to principals from about 53 colleges who can appoint teachers from their colleges who can dedicate about 6-7 hours daily to speed up the assessment process.
Deepak Wasave, Director of Examination

With admissions already done in most colleges, thousands of students graduating from Mumbai University may have no choice but to suspend their careers for one whole year.

Swapnil Sonsurkar now looks for an internship in an IT company.
Swapnil Sonsurkar now looks for an internship in an IT company.
(Photo: The Quint)

“I can’t even apply to Pune University this year as classes there have already begun. Admissions at my preferred college, NIT Trichy, are also over. I can’t afford to pay Rs 34,000 per year for a Masters degree in Computer Science in Mumbai University. I have no option now but to look for an internship and apply to other colleges next year again” said Swapnil.

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