Mumbai University final exams to be of 60 minutes duration for 50 marks

MUMBAI: After back-to-back meetings on Saturday, the Mumbai University (MU) decided to hold all final theory exams, including ATKT, in the multiple-choice question (MCQ) format online in students’ homes. Each exam will be held for an hour and carry 50 marks. Practical and viva voce exams, to be conducted by colleges, will be online too, either via phone calls or a digital platform.

Almost all state universities are veering towards this format. Most exams will not be proctored or digitally supervised, barring that of Pune university (SPPU), which has conducted such tests earlier. Experts have raised doubts about the credibility of such exams though.

Practicals for MU will start on September 15. Colleges will hold backlog exams for final-year candidates from September 25 to 30. Theory exams will be between October 1-17, with commerce — the largest cohort of students — being first.

MU will soon share detailed guidelines. Colleges will work in clusters (41 for MU’s traditional colleges) with every lead college taking charge of eight to 10 of its constituent institutes. Faculty has been asked to create question banks and submit these to lead colleges.

For students, one round of mock exams would take place to assist them with the new mode and help solve doubts. Autonomous colleges will also follow the MCQ format but will draw up their own question banks and work independently.

As step one, college heads have been directed to map their students and obtain details about the gadgets they have (smartphone, laptop, computer). For candidates who are unable to take this exam, a second round would be conducted, the details of which will be drawn up later. “As these are one-hour online exams only, we have been told that we can simultaneously conduct other exams too. Also, three to four exams can be conducted in one day. But all UG and PG exams have to end by September 17,” said a principal.

The MCQ format will allow scores to come up on the leaderboard instantly after the exam ends and colleges will have to send all the scores to the MU within two to three days of exam completion. At Nagpur University, too, similar decisions were taken, despite several doubts. “How do we keep MCQ for English literature or history,” asked a management council member from Nagpur University.

Deepak Mukadam, the governor’s nominee to the MU management council, said, “I think the state government and the vice-chancellors wasted immense time in the past few months. Had they stepped up and prepared, exams could have been taken in a better fashion without any compromise.”

Some universities that have connectivity issues in large parts of their constituency such as Gondwana and Amravati are still weighing their options. Several universities will hold their statutory body meetings on Sunday and Monday before freezing their options. All state universities will submit their final plans to the state government and the governor by Monday noon.

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