Plan to let colleges hold 1st, 2nd year exams postponedNews — By The Desk on November 11, 2009 at 11:42 AM
The Times of India: The absence of full-time principals and qualified teachers at several of its affiliated colleges has forced the University of Pune (UoP) to put off its plan to delegate the conduct of first- and second-year degree course exams to the colleges, by at least a year’s time.
The move to hand over the exam responsibility to colleges was recommended by an expert committee under the then management council member Sarjerao Nimse, following the first-year B.Sc paper leak scam that rocked the UoP in March/April 2008.
It was then pointed out that the Mumbai University had already effected such a transfer of responsibility to ease the heavy workload on the university’s exam department.
In context of the UoP, there are 574 affiliated colleges and 300 recognised institutions and almost 40 pc of them are running without full-time principals or directors. The university exam department conducts 275 exams each in the March/April and October/November sessions.
A UoP committee of deans as well as the exams committee had approved the Nimse panel recommendation and had proposed that the hand over be effected from academic year (AY) 2010-11.
The issue figured prominently at UoP’s management council (MC) meeting held on November 6, but differences among members over how to effect the transfer when several colleges were running without proper designated authorities, forced a rethink.
A senior MC member told TOI, “The questions raised were: Who will set the question papers at the colleges without qualified prinicipals and teachers? Who will assess the answer sheets and who will be the signing authority for issuance of marksheets? We have to find apt safeguards before delegating the exam responsibility to colleges.”
The university has the option of waiting for some more time to ensure that all colleges have the designated authorities in place or else explore the possibility of transferring students to other colleges for the purpose of exam, he said. “The latter option means an additional burden on the other colleges,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that the Supreme Court has given time till May 31, 2010, for all colleges in the state to comply with the Bombay high court directive of appointing full-time principals or directors. The high court ruling of December 3, 2008, had set the deadline for May 31, 2009, which now stands revised in the wake of the apex court order.
When contacted, UoP’s officiating vice-chancellor Arun Adsool said, “The hand over of exams to colleges will undoubtedly take place but, certain practical issues were needed to be tackled upfront. We (the MC) wanted to follow the deans’ committee recommendation of effecting the transfer from AY 2010-11 but now we have decided to effect the move from AY 2011-12.”
Adsool said, “This will also give us sufficient time to properly convey the decision to students, parents and other stakeholders and will enable the colleges to fulfill the court directives vis-a-vis full-time principals.”
According to Adsool, “It is a fact that the colleges, particularly those offering professional studies, were facing difficulty in securing PhD qualified candidates for the principals’ task.”
The impending meeting of the UoP’s academic council, which is scheduled for November 30, will also discuss the entire issue afresh, he said.