(By Oindrila Mukherjee)
Even as Panjab University (PU) is planning to award e-degrees from next session, along with online availability of diplomas, marksheets and migration certificates through online payment, it is lagging behind other varsities in Punjab when it comes to basic services such as online transcript evaluation.
Parwinder Singh, Controller of Examinations, PU, said they have already signed a legal document with National Academic Depository (NAD). “We have fixed a meeting with the authorities next week when we will give them the required data. We have created a NAD cell with three teams for the PU campus and its affiliated institutions in Punjab and Chandigarh,” said Singh.
The NAD is an online store house of all academic awards duly digitised by academic institutions. It is secure and any student can become a member through a unique ID and will not be required to carry documents physically.
“We are hopeful that PU will implement the process from 2018-19. The government has given us time till 2019 and will not be charging the students. Thereafter, they’ll charge as per policy, which will not be too high. Training will start towards the end of January,” added Singh. However, as far as obtaining transcripts is concerned, the procedure is manual, confirmed the Public Relations office of PU. The officials said that only the application form could be downloaded from the university website.
Varsities like Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) in Amritsar and IK Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKGPTU) in Jalandhar have online application and payment system for acquiring transcripts for higher studies or even PR immigration.
According to the enquiry desk at PU, the applicant has to deposit Rs 150 at its bank and attach the receipt with the duly-filled form before submitting it to the certificate cell. The students have to pay Rs 500 per certificate. The certificate cell then posts the documents to the addresses concerned with additional postal charges. All payments have to be made through bank.
For PTU, the process is online and cheaper. Rajneesh Sharma, public relations officer of PTU, said, “Students fill their particulars, attach scanned copies of degree certificates and submit all of it online. All the details are there on the website. We charge Rs 300 per transcript and Rs 100 for registered post.”
According to the official website of GNDU, the process is similar, but more expensive than PU or PTU. PTU website states that the whole process takes just a week. Singh, however, said students, former or current, have never complained about the university’s services. “Transcript verification will be our first step. But, we will start the NAD within three to four weeks,” he said.
Students dissatisfied with exam branch
Panjab University Campus Students’ Council accused the exam branch of being slow complicated. Vani Sood, general secretary of the Campus Students’ Council, said there are a minimum of two complaints regarding the exam branch daily. “The staff are slow, system is complicated, students aren’t guided properly and no one is ready to make an extra effort. A friend of mine was harassed as her transcripts got delayed when she applied to Canada for higher studies,” she said.
Sood recently submitted a memorandum to the Dean of University Instruction, and vice-chancellor that there was delay in revaluation of results. Sood said students apply for revaluation in the hope of increasing their marks, but the result comes after their reappear in exams. “They pay the fee too, so why is the university taking money if they can’t declare results within a proper deadline,” she asked, adding the Dean of University Instruction has assured her of looking into the matter. On digitisation, she asked if there was no system, what was the use of it.