Mumbai University, once acclaimed as one of the best universities in India in terms of quality of education is declining, and fast. A university that provided the world with brilliant students like Babasaheb Ambedkar, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Mukesh Ambani, LK Advani and many others is struggling to find ground in this modern and dynamic world. There are multiple issues faced by the Universities every single year in every single stream of study.
Recently Mumbai University has gotten into trouble because of the upgraded assessment process. Earlier the papers were hand checked by the professors, but this year onwards a new system of paper checking was approved which was to be done online. The scanned answer papers of the candidates were to be checked by the professors. As expected by many, the university has miserably failed in the process. The process has taken so long that many last year graduation candidates have not been able to apply for the post graduation studies because of the delay in assessment. The situation is so bad that the students haven’t yet received their mark sheets for the examinations conducted in November 2016. This is a serious issue as Mumbai University has caused so much discomfort to students by their lack of efficiency and competency. The idea in itself isn’t that bad but the implementation has been pathetic and lethargic. Apparently, 5.3 lakh arts, science, commerce and management papers are yet to be corrected and the majority of unchecked papers are from commerce stream. The situation has gotten so bad that the University issued non-instructional holidays across the city for the colleges affiliated to the Mumbai University in order to complete the process before July 31, the date which is set by the Governor himself.
After receiving severe backlash from all sides, the Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh has been asked to step down and a probe against him for the current mess in the university has been issued. Removing Deshmukh or replacing him isn’t exactly the solution. University students have suffered enough for the past many years. Constant ‘reshuffling’ of syllabus instead of ‘up-gradation’ has affected the quality of education. Constant change in marking systems also affects the overall preparation styles of the students. The university keeps shuttling between the 60:40 and 75:25 system which makes it difficult for the students to have a stable scoring ability. Many famous colleges have gone autonomous and follow their own system and hence moving away from Mumbai University. Colleges like St. Xavier’s, Sydenham College, Somaiya College have gone autonomous.
Compare Mumbai University and the quality of education it provides to the Delhi University, a stark difference can be noticed. For example, I myself am a TYBCom student and as a part of my curriculum, I am supposed to study Indirect Taxation in the second part of my grad year. But since GST was introduced half way through by the Government, the Delhi University, quickly, has decided to introduce GST in the commerce curriculum while Mumbai University has remained mum on the issue. As of now, this means that the Mumbai University commerce students will have to learn indirect taxes which earlier were applicable in India such as service tax, octroi, etc. And these taxes, are officially outdated in the Indian taxation system. Tax is an important practical subject has to be updated on a regular basis and the MU students stand to lose here. The issues don’t end here as the students from different streams suffer throughout due to the poor and lazy implementation of ideas by the University.
There is no denying that Mumbai University has its upsides too. But the downsides overshadow the upsides by a mile and it affects a student’s life and their further career plans. The time has come for the MU authorities to take bold and concrete steps for the benefit of the students and not just treat them like a science experiment whilst playing with their lives.