After botching up the response in the two waves of coronavirus pandemic, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is toying with the lives of students and their future. Reportedly, Mumbai University (MU) directly governed by the Maharashtra Government, citing the rising cases and the logistical challenges to host the exams had passed the students in May, earlier this year without taking any exams or assignments.
However, a month after the students were graduated, the MU had a brilliant idea to cancel the results and order students to submit assignments, in order to pass ‘legitimately’. The MU directed that in each subject, two assignments shall be submitted by a student for 50 marks in a period of 21 days and the score obtained shall be extrapolated to the scale of 60 or 100, whichever is applicable.
Over a month after the results had been declared, the MU wanted assignments. However, by the time the MU issued its diktat, many students had already gone abroad to study or returned to their native places while some had landed jobs in different cities.
It is pertinent to note that Varsha Gaikwad is the Education Minister (Congress Party MLA and Minister) and all the decisions undertaken by the University would have passed through her scrutiny. The flip back on the decision affected students who were forced to return and haphazardly submit the assignments. The teachers were called back and forced to evaluate the papers in a short time, creating a nightmarish sequence of events.
However, a Congress Youth spokesperson named Latoya Mistral Ferns masquerading as a ‘good samaritan’ filed a writ petition on July 22 to quash the submission of the assignments and restore the old results. And on Wednesday, after the court gave an earful to the Mumbai University, the authorities told the Bombay high court that it was withdrawing its recent circular cancelling results declared in August 2020 of various semesters of the first half of the LLB programme and directing assignment-based evaluation.
The bench of Justices Ramesh Dhanuka and Riyaz Chagla remarked, “We are of prima facie view that results having already been declared on May 22, 2020, in respect of various semesters could not have been withdrawn and students could not have been directed to submit assignments for the purpose of further evaluation,”
However, by the time assignments and their submission was stopped, over 50 per cent students had submitted them to the University. And Latoya Mistral Ferns, who filed the petition is a Congress leader and could have easily taken the unilateral decision of MU to the Congress top brass much earlier. However, for the optics and to save the face of the government, she took the court route and claimed herself to be the messiah of the students.
Success in Latoya Ferns v. Mumbai University & Bar Council of India! Grateful to Justice Dhanuka, Justice Chagla & my Lawyers. The Hon'ble Bombay High Court demonstrates it only takes a Sole Petitioner to speak to the Soul of the Constitution:https://t.co/wlF8CRI6mI@barandbench
— Latoya Mistral Ferns-Advani (लटाँया) 🇮🇳 (@LatoyaFerns) July 28, 2021
It is worth mentioning that Latoya in the past has been known for penning path-breaking ideas like ‘legitimising ISIS’ in her columns for Pakistani publications. She claims that the ISIS is “embodiment of the US’s haphazard democracy promotion and hurried exit strategy”.
However, the upshot of the article is that the double whammy meted the students’ way could have easily been avoided if the MVA government had the University and the top office-bearers in the Education Ministry cared a little for the future of the students.
Not only the entire exercise was a massive waste of time and resources, but it also caused tremendous mental agony, distress, and trepidation amongst the students, who were kept in the dark, oblivious of what the future holds for them.