MU Law Results Delayed; blame the sluggish university tech, say the faculty, the principals

Colleges are already struggling to hire qualified faculty and say the university has also delayed payments for papers corrections, which is a demotivating factor. University officials claim the online system works well, law schools shame the institution

The university should publish the results within 45 days of the last exam date. display image

It has been almost three months since the LLB Semester V exams for the three-year course at Mumbai University (MU) were completed. Still, students continue to wait for results. According to insiders, the university should publish the grade sheets within 30 days of the completion of the exams. It may take another 15 days. However, the student union claims that not only LLB but also LLM students* have freshman results pending. Law school faculty and rectors blamed technical glitches in the on-screen marking (OSM) system and the university’s failure to pay paper proofing fees.

A law school member said, “Technical glitches while using the OSM is one of the reasons for delays. Second, most law schools do not have full-time faculty that are NET/SET qualified graduate students under the UGC (University Grants Commission) mandate. Instead, guest lecturers with a master’s* degree, who are either practicing lawyers or teachers, are hired. You will be paid between Rs 300 and Rs 600 per lecture. Most of them don’t want to grade papers on the OSM system as it’s time consuming and the university doesn’t pay the fees on time.”

Another law school said: “Only two to three computers connect to the university server and college access is only mandated for one or two of the most trusted schools. The online bucket on the OSM platform often remains empty. The faculty must wait for the answer sheets to be dumped into the bin for evaluation by the university server. Sometimes the university back office doesn’t respond to calls and emails.”

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A year behind

The university pays around Rs 16 for each graded work, but the faculty claim payments from a year earlier are still outstanding. “We are expected to correct over 100 answer sheets at Rs 16 per item. To earn a few thousand rupees extra, we need to devote about 10 minutes per task to the OSM. It takes time as we need to pull a ‘seen’ * tag on each page. I resubmitted my details to the university two days ago, but the money hasn’t been sent,” said a full-time lecturer at a law school.

She added: “The physical review of the answer sheets was better than OSM, which is tedious and time-consuming. We have to skip the summer holidays for practical and written work that goes beyond the academic calendar.”

University meets colleges

Angered that faculty does not review answer sheets, MU recently held a webinar for all law school faculty and met with principals at the Kalina campus. Senior sources who attended the meeting said MU officials had expressed their dismay at the delay and warned of disciplinary action against the faculty under the Maharashtra Public University Act.

Confirming the meeting, UK Nambiar, Principal of MCT Law College, Airoli, Navi Mumbai, said: “Around 10,000 answer sheets need to be checked. There are about 70 law colleges in Mumbai, MMR and Konkan region affiliated with MU. It is a fact that the faculty is facing technical glitches in OSM. MU should change the platform or create a more user-friendly application.”

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“There are only a few papers left for correction and most papers for both the LLB (Semester V) and the LLM (Semester I) have been examined. According to a university announcement, we have provisional admission for first-year LLM students to the Entry into the LLM enables second year,” said Nambiar.

Student Union speaks

Siddharth Ingle, Founding President of the Maharashtra Students Union (MASU), said: “Only in the last five years have MU legislative outcomes been delayed thanks to the OSM system launched and outsourced in 2017. The backend office needs to scan thousands of pages of answer sheets and then submit them online to the law schools for correction.”

Regarding a possible solution, Ingle said: “MU should activate its Central Assessment System (CAS), which today is only on paper. It should undertake the marking of examination papers by a centrally appointed body to ensure timely correction in accordance with the provisions of Section 89 (notification of results within 30 days) of the Act.”

What university says

dr Prasad Karande, Executive Director of the MU’s Examination and Evaluation Committee, said: “The review of the papers is almost complete. We expect to announce the results of the fifth semester in the coming week. The first-year LLM exams ended at the end of January. Their results will be released in the next two weeks.”

dr Karande added, “Manual paper correction has its own pros and cons. Digitizing paper testing has helped us close gray areas. We also need to move forward digitally. The OSM is easy to use and disruptions are usually temporary. All payments are made after verification of faculty details with our records. Therefore, if the data does not match, it will take some time.”

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A senior university official said: “Of the 6,000 students affiliated with MU, about 10,000 may be studying law. We have observed over time that only law students face problems that also get media attention. Isn’t it surprising that the remaining students and faculty use similar platforms but don’t have hiccups?”

“It is good to speak up about problems, but it should not be used as a tool to blame and shame the university without cause, at least not by faculty and principals,” the official added.

When asked to comment on the official’s view, a Navi Mumbai law school rector used a legal maxim, “Rex Non Potest Peccare,” meaning “the king can do wrong.” “This is a myth that the university unfortunately believes,” he said.

Rs 16
Fee to the faculty for each corrected work