Red-faced over the recent question paper leaks, the University of Mumbai has decided that from next semester question papers will be sent to examination centres by electronic mail an hour before scheduled time. Over 600 colleges are attached to the university and around six lakh students appear for the 900-odd exams that the university conducts each year. Colleges in the Konkan region and also those in Mokhad and Javhar Districts come under Mumbai University. At present, for rural areas, the papers are sent to the custodian of the centre three days before an exam, while for city centres the papers are sent three to four hours earlier on the day of the exam itself.
But with the recent embarrassments caused by the leaks of the T.Y.B.Com and the T.Y.B.M.S papers, varsity officials were forced to sit through a marathon meeting to find a solution to the problem. Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. Naresh Chandra said, When the recent paper leaks were discovered, we used email to send the new paper across to the 58 centres within an hour. The process went off smoothly. Now, after careful consideration, we believe this is the best option to send the question papers. Centres will receive the papers by email one hour before schedule, and they can then make print-outs and distribute the papers to students.
Dr. Chandra added, Apart from email, we are also examining the option of sending the papers by road to city centres one hour before schedule, and to rural areas one day in advance. As per this format, in rural areas the parcel containing the papers will be opened in the presence of the chief conductor, the joint chief conductor and the custodian of centre, after which they will distribute the paper to various centres in their jurisdiction. Most city college principals are in favour of the email process. Suhas Pednekar, principal, Ruia College said, I think sending the papers by email are a good option. With the help of modern technology, the varsity can adopt this process which is faster, easier and tamper proof.
But before this is done, officials need to check the infrastructure available with colleges. While varsity officials agree,a senior official pointed out, Before implementing this process, we also need to check how many colleges in rural areas face load shedding, and how many of them have a back-up generator. We also need to keep in mind alternatives in the event the server crashes. Jagruti Palak Sangh,an association that deals with college related issues, said that the students must also be kept in mind. Its president Suresh Lad said, While conducting a re-exam is not expensive anymore, the varsity must also consider student psychology and how a re-exam can affect a student. The option of sending the paper by email one hour before schedule therefore is very good as it can prevent leaks.
Recent Paper Leaks:
March 27: The T.Y.B.Com Marketing and Human Resource Management paper leaked and students were given a re-exam on April 11. BNN College, Bhiwandi, was asked to suspend three officials allegedly involved in the leak.
April 25: The T.Y.B.M.S International Finance paper (Semester VI) was leaked. The varsity dispatched a fresh question paper via email to 58 centres. The source of the leak is yet being investigated.
Courtesy: Times of India