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University exam blooper flunks 6,000 BMS undergrads

Monday, 24 February 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Monday, 24 February 2014 - 12:11am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

It’s the season of blunders at the University of Mumbai. A recent blooper in the model answer-key resulted in more than 50 per cent of the 12,000 final year BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) students failing miserably in the Financial Management paper in the fifth semester. Some of them were shocked to see single-digit marks against their name.

The exam house officials have denied any wrongdoing on their part and instead asked the students to opt for revaluation. However, sources told dna that the mass failures were because of the wrong model answer-key. The model-answers are prepared by those who set the papers and chalk out the marking pattern for each question. They are sent to the examiners before the assessment of papers so that there is no ambiguity in granting marks.

“There was ambiguity in the model-answer for the 60-marks paper, which was divided into two sections of 30 marks each,” a BMS professor told dna. 

“The marking pattern was either absent or erroneous for 45 marks. But we corrected the paper as per the gaffe-ridden answer-key on December 10-11, 2013. We were shocked to see that 90 per cent of the students got single-digit marks,” the professor said.

The university realised its mistake after getting complaints from several centres. It then prepared a “fresh version” of the answer-key and rushed it to the assessment centres on December 12. However, it was too late by then. “Some centres managed to re-check the papers, but many others had completed the evaluation,” said an official, who was in-charge at one of the assessment centres.
Padma Deshmukh, controller of exam, admitted that the fiasco took place. However, she claimed: “We just made some additions to the previous model-answer key and resent it to the examiners.” Deshmukh denied that the delay in sending the corrected version of the model answer-key resulted in the mass failure. When asked to elaborate, she said: “I will resume duty on Monday and will explain everything.”

The students, meanwhile, are on tenterhooks. They are disappointed with the approach of the university officials to the blunder. “It is entirely their fault. They must admit it instead of asking us to go for revaluation. That will take months. Some of us would have to apply for the repeaters’ exam as well,” said a BMS student.

For the first time under the credit-based-semester-system, the University of Mumbai conducted the semester exam in November-December 2013. The mark-sheets which are being distributed at present have brought to the fore some startling facts, causing an embarrassment to the university.
A fortnight ago, dna exposed how the University of Mumbai “forgot” to implement its controversial “scaling down policy” in many BSc courses, thereby giving undue advantage to hundreds of final-year students over their counterparts.

12,000 final year BMS students appeared for Financial Management paper

Project marks
Few colleges complained about inclusion of project marks. “Project marks should not be included. But the varsity did, making the aggregate 700 marks, instead of 600. The students’ final grades fell drastically,” a principal said.

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