My encounters with Mumbai University

I am reminded of a fun-filled episode which took place more than an year ago.This has to do with my encounters with Mumbai university. My daughter completed her Masters in Science from Mumbai university and left for USA to pursue higher studies. She needed her transcripts from the university to complete some formalities in the university within a certain time-frame.

The story begins with my arrival at the University office. The university has a system of receiving all applications through a ‘general counter’ from where the bunch will be sent across to another office(which is referred to as room#130 by them)  for further processing and making the transcripts.   The first trip to the university was rather uneventful as it was just  to submit the application forms to the ‘General counter’. After a few days, I made my second visit and went straight to the ‘General counter’ (which is also known as ‘Inward’) and inquired about  the application submitted. I was told that the application  was yet to be sent to Room #130 in the first floor.  I asked  the person at the ‘General counter’ why they were sleeping over it for almost 10 days, an impertinent question I suppose! I was informed that the person who was supposed to send it was on leave and the other lady who took it on her behalf was only doing me a favour by receiving it from me.  Further, she added that I ought to know that there were several holidays in between, to which I obediently nodded. However ,I could not resist the temptation to ask what job the other 4 ladies (who were twiddling their thumbs at best) at ‘Inward’ had, implying that the others could have done the job. A reply came promptly informing me that they have a system (!)of work distribution to which I had no answer. Anyway, as I could see,,the papers were helplessly lying in their file and I bent over to collect them so that I could directly submit the same to room#130. But I was promptly stopped from doing so. They told me that the person (on leave) would come back in a day or two and send it to room # 130. When I protested, they condescended to give it – but only to the peon from the now famous room #130. I was asked to fetch the peon in person from 130,which I did grudgingly.(as per their great procedure, a paper once submitted to ‘Inward’  can only be routed through a peon).The papers finally arrived into 130 and the Drama begins in Room #130. This time, I became smarter and got friendly with an officer in 130, who promised to help me out. He asked me to talk to the concerned lady clerk, who as usual was not in any mood to work (you must grant her the fact that it was a black Monday,coming after several holidays!). She had one good look at the papers and  tried several ploys to reject the application. This time I was more determined and summoned courage thanks to the encouraging words i had earlier with the helpful officer. Her first weapon to shoot down my application was that the xerox copies of marks were very light. She repeatedly asked me “Aap ko dikhta hi kya?.” I patiently read out every column for her. I was relieved to read out ,especially , the ‘marks obtained’ & ‘max.marks’ column . Then she complained about the missing M.sc degree certificate, to which I innocently replied we never received it.  Finally she asked me about ‘Authority letter’,which was given away at Nayar college earlier. I thought for a while and told her that my daughter’s letter of application itself be considered as ‘authority letter’. She agreed grudgingly,because, by then she knew I had the support of the officer! Thus, finally the application was accepted and I paid the fees. She asked me to come after 2 weeks (2 weeks is their normal time,i believe). On the advice of the officer, she agreed to consider the possibility of giving it earlier.

 The third trip to the university was made dutifully after 3 days . This trip was again eventful, but  for different reasons. It was in total contrast to the previous trip. While on the first occasion the train journey was peaceful and the entire drama took place in the university, this time it was other way around.

I left home by 9a.m and reached Mulund station to catch a train. I went to platform #2 and walked the entire length of the platform to get close to the bogey next to the engine . There I positioned myself strategically (or so I thought) as the train rolled into the station. As the train stopped, I got in and moved quickly towards the walkway between the seats in order to desperately snatch a ‘4th seat’ at some station in transit. But all my calculations went awry as I soon found myself in a ‘Kalyan Local’ instead of Thane Local which I was supposed to catch (I probably heard the announcement wrong). And I knew immediately that the best of strategies  was not going to work during a peak hour if you happened to be in a long distance local like the one from Kalyan. As I was struggling to even stand while being pushed, one guy advised me not to yield even an inch to the incoming crowd lest you should be trampled upon. But I was in no position to decide whether to yield or not to the crowd, since I was barely standing on one leg and virtually floating in the midst of a huge sea of humanity !  I traveled in that state while struggling all the time for self preservation. I made a resolution not to travel by local train during peak hours.
Several philosophical thoughts troubled my mind during that time. I said to myself that human race is the only unique species on earth which is capable of creating its own  misery – both physical & mental- in creative ways.
As I got off at the VT station, I got back to the task on hand, which was to pursue my ongoing battle with Mumbai university.
As I reached the university, I dashed off to Room #130 and the desk of the lady clerk dealing with the  file. Before that ,of course, I took care to greet the officer who helped me earlier. I even got into a friendly chat on their personal day to day life. It was interesting to learn (although not surprising)that they travel all the way from Vasai to university everyday for over 2 hours. I really sympathized with that kind of grueling routine, which, for a moment seemed to justify the indifference they exhibited to visitors like me.
As the lady was processing the file in order to hand over the 2 transcripts, I made a half-hearted appeal to consider the possibility of issuing the additional 3 copies also the same day. To my pleasant surprise, the lady readily agreed to my request and asked me to give an application and pay the fees. I promptly grabbed the opportunity and did the needful(paper work, payment of fees  etc). She took print-outs of the certificates in my presence and sent them over for signature by the HOD of their section. In fact when the the HOD was annoyed about having to sign there and then, she defended me very assertively and made sure the work was done! I couldn’t believe what was going on! Needless to say I waited for half an hour more and collected all the 5 copies of transcripts and headed back home. People are not bad, after all, at the individual level(that is one to one).
The story above may be funny to narrate but exposes bureaucratic and inefficient systems still prevailing in our ancient places of learning, which causes immense mental agony to the people facing such situations. 

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://csnarasimhan.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/my-encounters-with-mumbai-university/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have to get my transcript for my bachelors degree for applying for canada, skilled workers category and I am really wondering,,will the situation to get it will be same or worse. Already i have started praying, though i will be going personally after a month. Do you think a month long prayer is enough to pass this hurdle;)

  2. if possible go before the month is out.
    the university usually takes about a month or more of extra time to process anything. So if the transcripts require logistically 2 weeks then be assured that you wont see a page out of it till the next month.
    So my advice is don’t wait now. Get the transcripts first. It doesn’t matter what dates are mentioned on the transcripts when you send them abroad.
    Secondly, when you go bring along you id proof.. (ie birth certificate, school leaving or ration card… mind you passport copy isn’t allowed), attested copies of your marksheets and your college id card.

  3. hi
    I am a former student of Mumbai university currently in the US. I applying to certain universities and some of them are asking for transcripts from University itself and not the college.
    I get the impression that u got the transcripts on behalf of your daughter. Can i ask a friend of mine to get transcripts for me? If yes, what documents do i need to provide him with? I have all the originals in possession here in the US..and don’t want to risk sending them by courier..so will a photostat do the needful? also wat else MUST i know…will really appreciate a response
    Must say the blog gave me a ray of hope that i can at least try getting work done sitting here in the US.
    thanks

    • Hi,
      Did u finally manage to get the transcripts from Mumbai University?
      Did they do it without the originals?
      I am also in the same situation now. Please reply.

      Thanks and regards,
      Shweta

      • of course I did ; my daughter woud not spare me otherwise

    • Can you please give the details on how to receive the transcript. I need a transcript from Mumbai Uni too and I am in the US.
      Help me with the documents required, what office to contact and any other procedure with time duration.
      Appreciate your help.
      Thank you.

  4. Hello Sir,

    It was fun reading your blog (reached here as I am looking for the same thing…transcripts at Mumbai U). I must say you have a great sense of humor and are willing to empathize with others even when you are under stress…a great attitude, which is the only way you can survive in our country and in a city like Mumbai.

    -V

    • Thanks & good luck on your adventure!

  5. Hi Sir,
    Eppadi Irrukel? Soukyamaa?

    I am also an alumnus of Mumbai University and need my BSc and MSc transcripts (for each year…not consolidated) I am living abroad and my mother in law has to run around doing this for me.
    Did you get it done at Kalina? Do they attest the 1st and 2nd year BSc marksheets too or do I need to go to my college for that?
    Kudos to you for getting the job done!

    Thanks!

    S. Sitaraman

  6. Hi Sir,
    Great blog…its hilarious..
    At the same time it really covered the fact..that every person..i would want to add working and living in MUMBAI..goes through this routine daily…
    We travel hanging out at the door in crowded buses and trains..and reach our work place and still manage to smile and work things out…
    Plus most of the govt dept’s having the same kind of response to you.
    For taking an experience try some govt related banks..they are like some1 sitting in front of an idiot box(here the computer) and work with a SYSTEM of theirs too.
    Also i work in immigration sector..i actually understand the importance of getting the Transcript and even more the agony the applicants go through worrying 1..abt how long the transcript will take and 2. abt the worry of the country closing down applications.
    It was great pleasure reading your blog..keep posting.. 😉

    Rgds,

    Supriya

  7. Dear All,
    If you require official transcripts from mumbai university or any universities in India.
    You can contact me. Mahesh s +918951179640 / +918553899409.
    or mail us the query to Maheshmahi746@gmail.com / mahesh.mahi@allindiatranscripts.com
    contact us for quickly process. or visit http://www.allindiatranscripts.com

  8. Hello Sir, A very well written piece with very fine undercurrents of humor!! I personally have no such experience, nor do I have the need to collect any transcripts but I agree this is the general pathos experienced across our country in almost every university and government departments. Keep writing!! 🙂

    • Thanks. That post was a spontaneous outpouring of my frustration immediately after the trips to the university.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: