Students from different Universities in Maharashtra pursuing undergraduate courses have moved the Bombay High Court for uniformity in the mode of examination and timely declaration of results.
The petitions say that in the meeting between the Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Maharashtra and Vice Chancellors of all state Universities on April 25, 2022, it was decided that there would be uniformity in the examination pattern and the examinations would be conducted in through the offline method.
Despite this, different universities are conducting different educational courses according to their own examination pattern. Some are conducting the examinations through descriptive paper patterns and others through MCQs creating discrimination and arbitrariness, the petitioners say.
"MCQ cannot be compared with descriptive question paper patterns. Students passed through MCQ examination will be compelled to compete with students passing through descriptive method of examination… there will be arbitrariness, unreasonableness and discrimination," the petitioners have said in their plea filed though Advocate Anubha Sahai.
The petitioners have sought a writ of mandamus to follow one single examination pattern and mode of examination and final reliefs of declaration of results in time.
The plea is listed for hearing before a bench of Justices Milind Jadhav and Abhay Ahuja on Monday.
"There is a need for having a uniform pattern of the examination as well as uniform pattern of academic calendars across the entire state," the plea states adding that Universities may be autonomous but the examination pattern must be uniform.
Regarding certain other decisions taken during the April 25 meeting, like providing students with a question bank and 15 minutes extra to write their paper, the petitioners state that not all the students have received these question banks.
Moreover, despite fixing a schedule for all examinations to be conducted between June 1- June 15, 2022, many colleges are following their own time tables.
The petitioners state that University of Mumbai itself is holding its examinations through both offline and online methods depending on the course. And only three universities, Gondwana University, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Kavayitri Bahinabai Chaudhri North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon are following the State's decision of conducting the university examinations offline,through the MCQ methods.
Most other Universities are holding offline descriptive examinations.
The petitioners state that under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016, there is a board of examination and evaluation established under the provisions of section 47 of the said Act. Section 48 defines the powers and duties of examination and evaluation board.
Most students who wish to apply to other courses outside the State or country do so between June to August. But if the examinations are conducted late and the results come in even later, it would dampen the student's prospects of getting admission in their desired courses, according to the petition.
The State's decision to provide a two-day gap between papers is another thing the petitions have criticized, stating that it would unnecessarily prolong the examination.
The first petitioner is a 37 -year-old student Bhalusha Bhasal pursing her LLB at the Ambedkar Law College, Wadala.