On April 6 this year, Assam University Silchar started offline examination for undergraduate courses denying the demands of students to conduct the exams online. Several students and teachers got infected to covid-19 virus after attending the examinations which forced the university to stop it midway. It was fifth semester examination under CBCS courses for the colleges affiliated with Assam University Silchar.
Now the university is again conducting offline examination from Thursday and a section of students are protesting against it using social media platforms.
Offline classes in all the undergraduate colleges under Assam University started from September 6 following an SOP issued by Government of Assam. On September 7, the University announced that it will conduct the final (6th) semester examinations of the three-year degree courses (CBCS) from September 24 onwards.
Controller of Examinations, Assam University Silchar, Dr. Suprabir Dutta Roy said that the University has taken the decision following the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Government of Assam. “We have 35 examination centres where students from 61 degree colleges affiliated to Assam University will participate. The examination will be conducted in offline mode where we will follow the protocols issued by the Government of Assam in its latest standard operating procedure. We have already discussed with the college authorities before announcing the schedule.”
Though the students displayed mass protest in April this year during fifth semester examination, this time they are comparatively silent. Some students have expressed their displeasure but they did not want to disclose their names. Some students started a twitter hashtag #justiceforassamuniversitystudents. Some have written there reason behind the displeasure against Assam University.
A student from Guru Charan College, Silchar has written in twitter tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah that his career is at stake. “As per the UGC Guidelines, all Universities in India conducted their final semester exams by month of August (Including Gauhati University) in online mode. However, Assam University started the online classes for the final Semester from July. While almost all Universities conducted online and open book exams by August and now they are ready for admissions of master degree courses, while students of Assam University can’t even apply or produce their 6th Semester marksheets,” he wrote.
“Now, after nearly 20-25 online classes, where even 25% syllabus isn’t completed properly, Assam University declared that offline examination is starting from 24 Sept 2021 and they published routine on September 7. How can a student sit for offline exams after only 20-25 days of class,” he added.
Advocating in favour of open book examination procedure, he said, “Many other Universities took open book examination in pandemic situation, and those students got 80-90% marks. So, even if Assam University students pass this examination, they will fall behind in comparison to every other universities. Delhi University’s CUCET Entrance dates are from 3rd week of September, they announced their dates months ago as per UGC Guidelines. So, how will Assam University students, who applied for masters programmes in Delhi or some entrance based Universities, will take part in those entrance tests?”
The teachers in most of the colleges however are convinced with the University’s decision to conduct examination. However they did not want to comment on weather the examination should have been taken online instead of offline process.
HOD of Guru Charan College’s Physics department, Dr. Apratim Nag said, “The present situation is not normal but we continued online classes during the lockdown. We have completed more than 80 percent of the courses and most of the students attended the online classes. The examination was supposed to take place earlier because final semester students were looking for studying further in other institutes across country. But many of those institute have conducted entrance examination before our students have managed to attend their final semester examination. We welcome the decision of Assam University to conduct examination in this situation. We have to understand that the entire country is facing a pandemic.”
About the allegations of non-completion of syllabus he said, “To some extent it is true that we could not complete the syllabus 100 percent. But students can attempt to answer for complete marks even if they complete 60 percent of the syllabus. There are 10 questions, two from each section of the syllabus, students can answer any 5. So technically a student can get full marks by completing less than 60 percent of the syllabus.”
Head of the Economics department of Cachar College, Silchar, Dr. Joydip Biswas said, “We have whatsapp groups for each semester to communicate with the students. We have supplied adequate study materials during the lockdown so that students can study. Government of Assam allowed University to conduct offline classes from September 6. University took advantage of this opportunity and announced examination, which is fair enough.”
Assam University however is yet to announce the results of fifth semester examination which was conducted in April this year. University authorities have informed that they are preparing the result which will be announced within a week. The subjects for which they could not conduct examination will be considered specially and marks will be given as per UGC guidelines.