Mumbai University results: 3.25 lakh answer sheets yet to be evaluated

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While the Mumbai University (MU) has scheduled the result declaration date for the undergraduate courses today, that is, July 31, it seems the varsity will miss the deadline. Of the 477 examinations that the MU conducted in March and April this year, the results of 340 courses are pending. Even as officials are hopeful of declaring most results on Monday, the deadline set by the governor and chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, a whopping 3.25 lakh answer sheets are yet to be evaluated. Over a lakh papers are to be moderated.

In Commerce stream alone, over 2.63 lakh papers are to be assessed. Monday marks the end of non-instructional days, which means assessors will have to evaluate papers and take classes.

Even as the university is hopeful of declaring all Arts, Science, Technology and Management results by July 31, it is likely that some of these results will miss the deadline. Commerce and law results will spill over to the rest of the week.

As per a press statement, the Mumbai University has received the help of the universities of Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Kolhapur, and the speed of the work has accelerated. “Of the total 17,36,145 answer sheets, 90 per cent have been evaluated and 3,25,305 answer sheets will be evaluated soon,” it said.

The delay in the MU results was also raised in the ongoing monsoon session of the legislature recently. The meeting on July 28 was chaired by Nimbalkar and attended by Education Minister Vinod Tawde, MLCs Hemant Takle, Dhananjay Munde and Anil Parab among others.

Mumbai University misses results deadline again, wants 5 more days now

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WITH OVER 2.94 lakh answersheets yet to be assessed, the University of Mumbai missed the Monday deadline set by Maharashtra Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. The future of over 4.5 lakh students is now uncertain with the university saying it needs at least five more days to come out with the results.

Even as the results of third-year science students were declared Monday, students of most major streams, including commerce, engineering and law, will have to wait longer for their final year results. Registrar M A Khan said the university would now ensure all results were declared by August 5.

Of the 477 exams conducted in March and April this year, the university has so far declared results 171-odd papers, despite the Maharashtra Public Universities Act mandating that results be declared within 45 days of the exams.

The delay has been attributed to the hasty implementation of the ‘onscreen assessment process’ for correcting final year answersheets this year. The process requires answersheets to be scanned and then evaluated, leaving no room for tampering. But the university failed to appoint an agency in time to help with the technology and infrastructure. The agency was finally appointed on April 27. As a result, paper assessment, which usually starts three days after the exams, was delayed by more than a month after the exams.

Following the unprecedented delay in the declaration of results, Governor Rao had on July 4 pulled up officials and directed the university to declare all results by July 31.

He had also asked Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh to complete the assessments on war footing and ensure all technical glitches in the new onscreen assessment system were smoothened out.

Following the governor’s directive, the university has delegated part of its assessment work to other state universities, including those in Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad. However, technical glitches in the system and the difference in syllabi have hindered the work. On Monday, Savitribai Phule Pune University kicked off the process by allotting nearly 50 teachers for the purpose. However, not more than 100 papers could be corrected in a day, said an official in the university. Similar complaints were reported from other universities too.

Students, meanwhile, will bear the consequences of the university’s failure to declare results in time. Several students who have applied to universities abroad and colleges within the country may have to drop a year as it is past the deadline of most of these colleges to accept marksheets. Those seeking jobs too are unable to join or apply without their final year results.

The delay, which has put the future of students in jeopardy, has also led to uproar in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly. The Shiv Sena and the Congress have also demanded the resignation of Education Minister Vinod Tawde as well as V-C Deshmukh over the fiasco.

“A privilege motion would be moved against Vinod Tawde for his failure to meet the promise given on the floor of the House,” said Shiv Sena leader in the Legislative Council Anil Parab.

Amid the chaos over result declaration, economics professor Neeraj Hatekar has decided to take voluntary retirement. Making the announcement through a Facebook post, Hatekar claimed that he was distressed over “whatever is going on at the University of Mumbai”, and said he wanted to fight for the university’s betterment from the outside.

Meanwhile, the Bombay University College and Teachers’ Union has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against the university seeking the court’s intervention against the “arbitrary, subjective and hasty decisions” of the V-C to implement the onscreen assessment system.

Mumbai University result delay: Students fear losing year, jobs, overseas seats

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A FINAL-YEAR engineering student, who has been selected for a Masters in Business Administration course in the UK, has spent the past two weeks making rounds of the University of Mumbai, writing applications for an early declaration of results lest she lose the seat. “I had to submit my marksheets to the UK university by August 1. I have been requesting the University of Mumbai to see if the results could be declared confidentially to the UK university directly,” said the student, who spent all of Monday inside a newly set up confidential reports cell in the university. She was among a dozen students who had turned up at the cell with similar requests.

The university’s inability to deliver the results of final-year students in time has left thousands of such students in the lurch. From uncertainty over future admissions, job rejections and the inability to meet deadlines, students have had a tumultuous couple of months. Although the deadline for releasing results was July 31, there are around 2.9 lakh answer papers yet to be corrected.

Suraj Vishwakarma, an MSc student of Birla College, Kalyan, said, “I applied to an IT giant for a job, but they could not give me a definite decision because my results have not been declared. They said that if there are no vacancies left by the time results are declared, I will not get the job. I am very stressed at this moment as I don’t want to lose this opportunity.”

Another student, who did a BA in French from MU, has been selected at the University of Edinburgh for a Masters in Film Studies but she has not been able to go ahead with her admission process. She now fears she might have to drop a year.

Some have even resigned to taking a year drop instead of applying and losing out on admissions. “I have decided to postpone my plans to study abroad only because I have not got my results. It is very annoying and stressful,” said Yesha Mehta, a BMS student.

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This year, the university decided to assess final-year papers through an onscreen system. However, the system was hastily implemented following a delay, leading to a delay in declaration of results. Of the 477 exams held in March and April this year, the results of 160 have been declared so far. The university has now not only missed the 45-day deadline set by the Maharashtra Public Universities Act but also the July 31 deadline set by Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.

While several students are worried of a year drop, a debate over the quality of assessment has left students concerned over discrepancies in results. “The entire assessment process has been so badly organised and has taken so long, my main worry is that in the rush, my papers will not be corrected properly,” said Bhakti Sonawala, a BCom student from Lala Lajpatrai College. The results will now be declared by August 5.


SPPU comes to Mumbai University’s rescue, dedicates 50 teachers for paper assessments

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As the University of Mumbai (MU) struggles with paper assessments, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has come to its rescue by dedicating a team of 50 professors to conduct assessments. Of the 477 examinations, the results of 340 courses were pending till July 30. In a desperate attempt to meet the deadline, MU officials had sent an appeal to the neighbouring universities. In case of SPPU, they had requested that at least 300 professors be put on the job. However, looking at the varsity’s own work pressure and admissions, about 50-60 teachers have been identified and nearly 40 computers have been dedicated solely for this job. The teachers are said to be from different departments under the Science and Management faculty.

However, despite their best intentions, the faculty at SPPU hasn’t been able to help much in terms of paper assessments. And the main reason behind this is the complicated software adopted by MU. “They have adopted some new software from this year and instead of manual assessments, the assessment has gone online. But it is not Internet-based. They have some new system which requires the answer sheets to be scanned and put into a software. This software then reads the answer sheet and displays it to the assessing teacher on a screen and that person then has to assess it and put the marks separately into a common system. It’s quite a complicated one and our teachers are taking time to adapt to it,” said one of the varsity officials. SPPU Vice-Chancellor N R Karmalkar agreed that the new software was one of the main reasons for the “slow work” on paper assessments.

“Initially, we had hoped to correct at least 1,000 answersheets in a day. However, owing to the complicated software, we are unable to do so and work is much slower than expected. I had dedicated at least 35-40 computers and 50 teachers for this job. But the data is heavy and it’s taking time to download the papers. Even this on-screen assessment system is new and is going very slow. Also, another hindrance for us is the significant difference in the syllabus and the paper patterns,” said Karmalkar.

Mumbai University results to release by August 5: Chief Minister

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The Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Assembly on August 1 that theresults of the Mumbai University (MU) will be out by August 5. The MU results were initially sloted to release on July 31, a deadline announced by the Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao earlier.

Due to delay in declaring the results has stopped many students to apply in foreign universities. In the Assembly, the Shiv Senasought the removal of the MU Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh. “The work for assessing around 17 lakh papers is undertaken in one go, which could have been implemented in phases. It (phase-wise assessment) could have helped in avoiding the current mess,” the chief minister said. The Minister said while 14 lakh papers have been assessedbut the results cannot be announced unless all the papers are evaluated. “The university has also completed (the assessment of) results of 171 exams, but all the results will be declared by August 5,” Fadnavis said.

The Minister said while 14 lakh papers have been assessed but the results cannot be announced unless all the papers are evaluated. “The university has also completed (the assessment of) results of 171 exams, but all the results will be declared by August 5,” Fadnavis said.

The varsity will issue the certificates by August 15 for those students who are keen on going abroad, he said. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar blamed the  government for the entire mess over the results. “The minister has failed completely. The results of 306 exams are still awaited because of the delay in the online assessment,” Pawar added.

Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab moved a breach of privilege motion against Education Minister Vinod Tawde in the Legislative Council over the delay in declaration of results.

“The education minister had assured the House that results will be declared on time, which did not happen. I am thus moving a Privilege Motion against him,” the Sena leader said.

Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt said if the online assessmenthad to be done, it should have been carried out in phases anda pilot project should have been launched involving a fewthousand students.

‘Hopeless system’: Mumbai University’s economics school head retires voluntarily amid crisis

Neeraj Hatekar, head of department, Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy, says he believes he will be more effective working towards the betterment of the university fighting for it from outside.

Even as University of Mumbai struggles to meet the July 31 deadline for announcing the delayed results of examinations, senior officials are abandoning the university. Neeraj Hatekar, head of department, Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy, has decided to opt for voluntary retirement, calling the problems at the university a “fight within a hopeless system of no use”.

Known for voicing his opinion for or against the working of the university, Hatekar, on Monday morning, shared a post on Facebook announcing his decision to take voluntary retirement. “I realise that I will be more effective in working towards the betterment of the university fighting for it from outside rather than being part of a hopeless, spineless system led by stooges who only understand expediency of survival. I feel uncomfortable that earning my daily sustenance involves deference to such a system,” said his post on the social networking site.

Hatekar has time and again voiced his opinion against the inappropriate functioning of the university and at the same time also extended his support to all teachers. Recently he had also objected to making teachers work extra hours to make up for the loss of assessment time in April and May of this year because assessment this year started only post mid-May. “Whatever is going on in the University of Mumbai is deeply distressing and the time has come for those who feel for the university to come together and act. The Joint Action Committee for Improvement of Higher Education in Maharashtra calls for this interested to join in…The time for silence is over,” he said.

Mumbai University results 2017: 90% answer sheets evaluated as deadline ends

The evaluation of 90% answer sheets of MU has been done so far, as the deadline, set by Chancellor and Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, to declare results of all examinations ends on Monday.

The evaluation of 90% answer sheets of the Mumbai University (MU) has been done so far, as the deadline, set by Chancellor and Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, to declare results of all examinations ends on Monday.

Over three lakh answer sheets were yet to be assessed, according to a statement issued by the MU late last night.

“The Mumbai University has received the help of the universities of Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Kolhapur, and the speed of the work has accelerated. Of the total 17,36,145 answer sheets, 90% have been evaluated and 3,25,305 answer sheets will be evaluated soon,” it said.

The Mumbai University has declared 153 results in various streams. The results under various branches that have been announced are: arts-78, technology-48, science-10, management-10 and commerce-seven, said the statement.

Except for commerce and law, most branches have reached between 90% and 98% completion of assessment, the communication said.

The Maharashtra government had on Friday ordered an inquiry against Mumbai University’s Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh over his role in implementing the new online assessment system, which has resulted in delay in declaration of examination results.

Minister of State for Higher Education Ravindra Waikar earlier told the Maharashtra Assembly that an inquiry will be initiated against Deshmukh about the manner in which the new assessment system was implemented.

It would also be probed that how tenders were floated in connection with implementing the decision.

The Mumbai Congress had also threatened to ‘gherao’ the university campus if it does not declare results of all examinations by July 31.

State Education Minister Vinod Tawde said in the House last week that while the inquiry committee will probe into the entire matter, the task before the government at present is to announce the results of exams of final year courses.

The government will take steps so that such a delay does not take place in next the session, he said.



Mumbai, get fitter: Nutritionists reveal the truth behind diet and food myths

Nutritionists explain why some popular diet myths that are just that: myths.

In the era of Internet and information overload, we can be easily misled and misinformed. We are surrounded by myths about certain foods and more often than not we believe whatever we read without questioning it. For example, “granolas and flavoured yogurt are healthy” or “salt only increases the risk of high blood pressure”. These statements are not necessarily true. To get a clearer picture, we spoke to nutritionists to reveal the facts about certain foods that we assume to be healthy or unhealthy for us.

Unhealthy? So you thought!


Potatoes are actually much healthier than you would think. (HT Photo)

Potatoes have been infamous for being unhealthy for way too long. However, according to dietician Priya Palan, they are a good source of potassium and vitamin C. “Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidants. Potatoes are low-calorie, with a medium-sized baked potato containing only about 110 calories,” says Krishnan.


Margarine is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help control cholesterol levels. (HT Photo)

Manjiri Puranik, weight loss expert says, “Margarine when taken in adequate amounts has health benefits. Margarine has alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to lower total cholesterol levels, triglycerides and reduce inflammation.”


Salt is widely considered to cause high blood pressure, but it’s a vital ingredient to your well-being. (HT Photo)

For ages, doctors have been telling us to cut on salt or risk high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease. However, Dr Nupur Krishnan, nutritionist says, “Salt is essential for sustaining the hydration levels of the body. It is extremely vital to maintain the electrolyte balance for the smooth functioning of the organ systems.”



Eggs are very nutritious and can even help you lose body fat. (Mark Cornelison)

“Eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as ‘nature’s multivitamin.’ They also have unique antioxidants and powerful brain nutrients that many people are deficient in. Eggs for breakfast can also help you lose body fat,” says Manisha Mehta, nutritionist.


Avocados are considered to be too fatty, but are rich in potassium and fibre. (HT Photo)

The fruit has been tarnished because it is considered to be too fatty. But nutritionist Khushboo Sahijwani says, “This is truly a miracle fruit. All other fruits are rich in carbohydrates but this one is exceptionally rich in fats, and most importantly the healthy mono unsaturated fatty acids. Avocados are super rich in potassium which is good for people with high blood pressure. Being rich in fibre, it aids in weight loss and to lower cholesterol.”

What we thought was healthy

Wheat bread

Wheat bread may contain enriched flour, which is high in sugar but doesn’t have much nutrition value. (HT Photo)

Krishnan highlights, “If it isn’t 100% whole wheat, bread can contain enriched flour, which gives you a sugar spike without any nutritional value. Basically, enriched flour means nutrients are stripped from the bread.”

Flavoured soy milk

Soy milk may actually not be as healthy as popular wisdom states it to be. (HT Photo)

Some health-conscious people prefer soy milk because they are considered a heart-healthy low fat option. Mehta counters, “Almost every ingredient in soy milk is a cause for serious concern. It contains cane sugar, carrageenan, calcium carbonate, vitamin A, palmitate, vitamin D2, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12 and phytic acid. Soy contains high levels of phytic acid, a compound, which reduces your body’s ability to absorb minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.”



Granola bars may not be the best way to start your day. (HT Photo)

“One might think of granola as one of the healthiest breakfast options to start the day with. But it tends to be low on fibre and protein, and high on fat and sugar, which is the opposite of a healthy breakfast. Stick to granola that has healthy nuts, and a little sugar,” says Puranik.

Light salad dressings

“Low-fat salad dressings prevent the body’s ability to absorb the carotenoid antioxidants in salad greens and tomatoes, thus greatly diminishing a major health benefit of eating salad. ‘Light’ and ‘fat-free’ dressings are often the most common places to find high-fructose corn syrup which is not too good for health,” says Mehta.

Flavoured, fat-free yogurt

Flavoured yogurt is high in sugar, corn syrup and a host of other sweeteners. (Shakti Yadav/HT Photo)

Puranik states, “Yogurt has always been considered as a health food but if you are into fruit flavoured yogurt, it is more likely that you are consuming plenty of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and a host of other sweeteners, and not so much fruit. So when it comes to yogurt, stick to the plain variety.”

For the University of Mumbai, at 160, it’s time to introspect

Mumbai University is the administrative body for 777 colleges and about 7 lakh students.

A liberal education aims at the ‘making of men’, said Sir Raymond West, vice-chancellor of the University of Bombay, speaking in the convocation address in July 1882. “It [education] is not to be diverted into a process of manufacturing human tools wonderfully adroit in the exercise of some technical industry, but good for nothing else,” added West.

His words are interesting to revisit as the University of Mumbai (MU) turns 160 this month.

The former VC would probably have had some things to say about how the university has conducted exams and admissions in recent times. It has also messed up schedules and delayed results. Last year, the Mumbai University ranked 68 among 421 institutions among BRICS nations according to rankings agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Amongst 724 institutes nationally, it ranks between 151 and 200, in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released by India’s human resources development ministry in April.

Think of a prominent Mumbaiite, and chances are she or he studied here.

Nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha; reformer Lokmanya Tilak; Morarji Desai, the fifth prime minister of India; Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, passed through these gates. More recently, so did industrialist Adi Godrej; Wipro founder Azim Premji; jurist Nani Palkhivala and ICICI Bank CMD Chanda Kochhar.

“The MU is one of the three oldest in the country,” says Naresh Chandra, former pro-vice chancellor of the university who now serves as principal of Birla College, Kalyan. “The largest number of NAAC-accredited A-grade colleges fall under MU.” These include St Xavier’s, Ruia, Ruparel colleges and more.

Established in 1857 and initially spread over a single 243 acre campus in south Mumbai, MU now operates across campuses in Kalina, Thane, Ratnagiri and Kalyan. It is the administrative body for 777 colleges and more than 7 lakh students, says Leeladhar Bansod, the university’s deputy registrar. At the undergraduate level, courses are offered in subjects ranging from management studies to law, architecture, aviation and physical education. It also runs 58 post-graduate programmes ranging from applied psychology to nanotechnology.

Changing times need a change of pace and approach. “One of the key issues for students of the 21st century is student engagement,” says Rajan Welukar, former vice-chancellor of MU. “The moment you engage them, learning happens automatically in the classroom and outside it. For this net-savvy generation, what is needed is creating the experience around such easily accessible content.” MA Khan, registrar of the MU says, “The current administration has initiatives to increase transparency and automation. ”

Indu Shahani, educationist and former principal of HR College, says that much of the university’s good standing comes from the staff and students. “Eighty to ninety percent of students in MU travel from the suburbs for higher education. They are very self-motivated,” she says. “They make things happen no matter what.”

“Today, a generation lasts not 20 years, but 5. Newer courses when added, must be centered around the learner, ” says Snehlata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor of MU.

Shahani adds that the university has been able to meet the needs of its students well. Its B.Com courses have offered specialisations such as Banking and Insurance, and Accounting and Finance. It also introduced Bachelor of Mass Media and Management Studies courses in the early 2000s.

But much more needs to be done. “When exam reforms are added, the process has to be set in motion at least two years in advance,” says Snehlata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor of MU.

Quick decisions have resulted in delays in results and mix-ups during exams.

Deshmukh also says that the curriculum be revised more frequently. “Today, a generation lasts not 20 years, but 5,” she says. “Newer courses when they are added, they must be centered around the learner.”

Despite West’s view, the curriculum needs to help students face a changing workplace. “The jobs of the future will be in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, design thinking, virtual reality, and data analytics,” says Shahani.

“Data is going to be the next generation’s oil.” It’s time the institution started planning for tomorrow.


On Mandela Day, Mumbai girls get hygiene kits, sanitary pads

The South Africa Consulate on July 18 commemorated Mandela Day by distributing packaged hygiene kits to school girls that contained sanitary napkins, soap, hand towel, sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrush. The Consulate along with the Nargis Dutt Foundation, an NGO, also provided 176 of these girls with a year’s supply of sanitary napkins. “Not only will this help in maintaining hygiene but the making of sanitary pads will also create jobs for women with a special sanitary pad manufacturing machine launched by the Nargis Dutt Foundation,” the Consulate said in a statement.

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South African Consul General M.L. Ramokgopa raised concerns over the high drop out rate among girls at school. “Women and girls lack hygiene supplies and as a result of which they do not attend schools or work or indulge into any kind of activity during their menstrual cycles. Lack of affordability, accessibility and awareness are the primary reasons why school girls are forced to drop out.

“Through this initiative, we would like to help these girls keep up with their education every month. And we only hope to see this change in the coming years, where every girl has access to hygienic mediums and can live a routine life to study or work,” Ramokgopa was quoted as saying in the statement. In recognition of Nelson Mandela’s contributions to democracy, racial justice and reconciliation and his service to humanity, the United Nations has declared Madiba’s birthday on July 18 as International Mandela Day.