Assessment of Mumbai University answersheets at centres in the city have almost come to a 'standstill' for two weeks, even as close to 60,000 papers are yet to be assessed—a majority of them from commerce. Officials claim that a few thousands which are being assessed everyday, are done at centres outside Mumbai. Sources are attributing the slowing down to multiple reasons including unavailability of micro centres for assessment at affiliated colleges, teachers not finding assigned papers in their 'baskets' and reduced manpower from MeritTrac.

Computer labs or spaces in colleges which were being used as micro centres for assessment in June, July and a few days in August, are now required for academic work. "Though the colleges are not shutting down the centres, their computers are needed by students," said an official. On Monday, the university asked a few engineering colleges to participate in the assessment process to fill the gap, said acting pro-vice-chancellor Dhire

Several teachers are also busy trying to complete syllabus before the term-end exams. There are other activities such as holding seminars, events, conducting exams, assigning projects and class work. Some teachers on the other hand, who are willing to participate, are not finding answersheets assigned to them in their baskets— in their login account. "At our centre, teachers from neighbouring colleges are coming to assess, but when they log in, they are informed their baskets are empty. Many teachers are wasting a trip to the centre," said a co-ordinator.

A senior teacher in-charge of the assessment in a commerce subject said technical help from MeritTrac is not available at many centres. "They tell us they have been pulled out of the centres," said the teacher. But another added that they are not always required at this stage. While officials from MeritTrac were unavailable for comment, a co-ordinator said the agency's job was to provide software and technical training initially. "But most people remained at the centres for a longer time. Not many teachers come at the centres in Mumbai now, so there is no point in keeping manpower at all the centres. We are available whenever required," said the co-ordinator. He added that most assessment is currently being done in centres outside Mumbai.

Patel, however, claimed MeritTrac officials are available and problems at the centres are being resolved. An MU official said the papers which are lost in folders are being traced offline and being made available.

Also, the MU admitted on Monday that 967 law students, who were awarded 0-14 marks due to technical difficulties are now declared successful.

n Patel. He added that teachers will be directed to these centres.