MU eased norms for online assessment contract: RTI
Mumbai: Mumbai University relaxed two conditions—turnover of bidders and minimum technical score required–for selecting online assessment agency for the March 2017 exams, shows information obtained under the RTI Act. The university has received flak from all quarters for delay in results.
The university issued tender for the first time on February 28 for implementing the on-screen assessment (OSM). The original tender documents mention the minimum turnover requirement of bidders as Rs 100 crore—it was later reduced to Rs 30 crore—and the minimum technical score for qualifying as 70 points— later modified to 60.
After two rounds of tendering, Bengaluru-based MeritTrac was selected. “The dilution in the pre-qualification criteria proved beneficial to MeritTrac,” claimed RTI activist Anil Galgali who sought information from MU about the online evaluation. The minutes of the March 30 meeting were shared with Galgali.
MU officials said they altered the criteria to get more bidders. Selection committee members declined to comment.
A second tender was floated in April as only two companied participated in the first—there has to be at least three bidders. TCS quoted Rs 49.90 per paper in comparison to Merit Trac's quotation of Rs 23.90. Then a tender selection committee was constituted. On the assessment of the tenderers it was found that TCS had scored 95 points, whereas Merit Trac 45, he said.
Galgali said Merit Trac did not appear before the selection committee. “However, MeritTrac appeared before the University’s Management Council on April 28 and provided detailed information,” said Galgali. By then, the purchase committee had given the contract to MeritTrac on April 27 2017, he said adding that in the management council, govern- ment representatives Siddarth Kharat, Rohidas Kale and Subhash Mahajan had voiced their opinion against the process.
MeritTrac vice-president Sundarajan Nagendran said, “In the first process, we did not make a presentation, as we were not informed about the schedule. In the second process, we applied for the contract, we made the presentation and got selected based on the laid out procedures.” He claimed their technical score was better than that of their competitor.