Maharashtra to form fact finding committee to look into IDOL online exam fiasco

Weeks after examinations of the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) were disrupted and eventually postponed due to technical glitches, the Maharashtra education department has decided to constitute a fact-finding committee with technical experts to look into the matter.

In a press conference held virtually on Saturday, Maharashtra minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant stated that the incident of the first week of October that left thousands of students from IDOL anxious and unable to appear for their final year exams left students more stressed.

“Students who were already stressed about examinations were put under more stress due to the technical errors and will now have to re-appear for all examination. Such issues cannot be ignored, and the fact-finding committee will delve deep into this issue and present a report on the same at the earliest,” said Samant.

He added that the committee will bring together two education director level officials along with a technical expert and the committee will be ready to start work by November 10. “This committee will submit a report based on their findings within one month,” he added.

In the first week of October, after postponing three examinations within a week for students of the distance education wing of University of Mumbai announced postponement of all IDOL exams. Close to 9,000 TYBCom and TYBA students could not attempt their paper on three consecutive days due to “technical glitches”. The university finally blacklisted the previous service provider, Little MORE Innovation Labs and replaced it with a new exam software company to conduct the exams again.

Samant further highlighted that based on the report submitted by the fact-finding committee, it will also be decided whether such companies should be blacklisted by all state universities in the future.

Meanwhile, all state universities have been asked to not only finish announcement of results by the second week of November but also ensure that marksheets of students are released by the end of November.

In a meeting held between the state minister of higher and technical education Uday Samant along with vice chancellors of all state universities on Friday, it was decided to form two separate expert committees—one to discuss the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) and another to suggest amendments to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act (2016). “These committees will get to work immediately and they have been asked to submit their reports to the government within a month’s time,” said Samant.

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