MU eased norms for on­line as­sess­ment con­tract: RTI

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

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