The year 2017 saw many firsts, but this one was certainly not pleasant.
The vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai, Sanjay Deshmukh, was sacked for his handling of the online assessment. Reportedly, the system that was introduced in a haphazard manner, leading to a six-month delay in announcement of results and endless woes for students.
ONLINE ASSESSMENT DEBACLE
Sanjay Deshmukh was appointed as the VC in June 2015, had to be forced out by governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who is the chancellor of all universities in the state. The Raj Bhavan faulted him for “his gross negligence and failure in implementing the on-screen marking (OSM) system, to declare the results of examinations held in summer 2017, within the time limit prescribed in the law and for his failure to comply with the directions issued by the chancellor from time to time, regarding early declaration of results”.
DESHMUKH STOOD BY HIS DECISION
Introduced without sufficient consultation with teachers and university officials, and not much foresight and preparedness, the project delayed the results of lakhs of students for several months. Many of them lost job opportunities, while others failed to pursue their higher education plans. The results were found to be ridden with errors. This resulted in outrage among teachers, students and even politicians. Deshmukh, however, stood by his decision.
WHAT ELSE WENT WRONG
1. Most of Deshmukh’s ambitious projects, including setting up university campuses in the US and Dubai, did not see the light of the day.
2. Other decisions such as purchasing an aircraft to offer hands-on training to students pursuing BSc Aviation and a re-evaluation facility for internal examinations of colleges had to be rolled back.
3. His plans to create an endowment fund to raise Rs1,000 crore for development of the university and a master plan for large-scale construction in Vidyanagari campus have remained on paper.