On 6th April this year, Assam University Silchar started offline exams for undergraduate courses, denying the demands of the students to conduct online exams. Several students and teachers got infected with the Covid-19 virus after appearing for the examinations, forcing the university to stop it midway. It was the fifth semester examination under CBCS courses for colleges affiliated to Assam University Silchar.
Now the university is conducting the offline exam again from Thursday and a section of the students are protesting against it using social media platforms.
The offline classes in all the undergraduate colleges under the Assam University started from September 6 following an SOP issued by the Assam government. On September 7, the university announced that it would conduct the final (sixth) semester examination of the three-year degree course (CBCS) from September 24.
Controller of Examinations, Assam University Silchar, Dr Suprabir Datta Roy said that the university has taken the decision following the standard operating procedures issued by the Government of Assam. “We have 35 exam centers where students from 61 degree colleges affiliated to Assam University will participate. The exam will be conducted in offline mode where we will follow the protocol in the latest standard operating procedure issued by the Government of Assam. We have already discussed with the college authorities before announcing the schedule.”
Though students staged massive protests during the fifth semester examinations in April this year, this time they are comparatively silent. Some students have expressed their displeasure but they do not want to reveal their names. Some students started the Twitter hashtag #justiceforassamuniversitystudents. Some have written the reason behind the outrage against Assam University.
A student of Guru Charan College in Silchar has written on Twitter, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, that his career is at stake. “As per the guidelines of the UGC, all the universities in India conducted their final semester exams in online mode up to the month of August (including Gauhati University). However, Assam University started online classes for the final semester from July. While almost all Universities were conducted online and open book exams till August and now they are ready for admission to master’s degree courses while Assam University students can neither apply nor prepare their sixth semester marksheet “
“Now, after around 20-25 online classes, where even 25% of the syllabus is not completed properly, Assam University announced that the offline examination is starting from 24th September 2021 and they have published the routine on 7th September. How can a student appear in an offline exam? Only after 20-25 days of class,” he said.
Advocating in favor of open book examination process, he said, “Many other universities give open book examination in pandemic situation, and those students get 80-90% marks. So, if students of Assam University also take this examination pass, they will be left behind. Compared to every other universities. Delhi University’s CUCET admission dates are from 3rd week of September, they announced their dates months back as per UGC guidelines. So, Assam University’s CUCET admission dates are from the third week of September. How will the students, who had applied for postgraduate programs in Delhi or some admission based universities, appear in those entrance exams?”
Though the teachers of most of the colleges agree with the decision of the university to conduct the examination. However, he did not want to comment on weather that the exam should have been taken online instead of an offline process.
Dr. Apratim Nag, HOD, Physics Department, Guru Charan College, said, “The current situation is not normal but we continued online classes during the lockdown. We have completed more than 80 per cent of the courses and most of the students have attended the online classes. The exam was to be held earlier because the final semester students were looking to pursue further studies in other institutes across the country.But many of those institutes have conducted the entrance exam before our students appear for the final semester examination.We Assam We welcome the decision of the university to conduct the examination in this situation. We have to understand that the whole country is facing a pandemic.”
Regarding the allegations of non-completion of syllabus, he said, “It is true to some extent that we could not complete the syllabus 100 percent. But students can try to answer for full marks even if they do not complete the syllabus. Complete 60 percent. There are 10 questions, two from each section of the course, the student can answer any 5. So technically a student can get full marks by completing less than 60 percent of the course. “
Dr. Joydeep Biswas, Head, Department of Economics, Cachar College, Silchar said, “We have WhatsApp groups for each semester to communicate with the students. We have supplied enough study material during the lockdown so that the students can study The Assam government has allowed the university to conduct offline classes from September 6. The university took advantage of this opportunity and announced the exam, which is quite justified.”
Assam University, however, is yet to announce the results of the fifth semester examination held in April this year. University officials have informed that they are preparing the result which will be declared within a week. The subjects for which they could not conduct the examination will be given special consideration and marks will be given as per UGC guidelines.
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