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Bengaluru: Student alleges invigilator addressed her as ‘baby’, sparks row

Sharing the purported screenshots of a conversation on a third-party platform, the student claimed that as asked the invigilator when she could submit in PDF format the answers she wrote during an end-semester examination, the proctor responded by saying “another 3 minutes baby”.

Christ University, BengaluruChrist (Deemed to be University) in Bengaluru.

A female student of Christ (Deemed to be University) in Bengaluru has shared screenshots alleging that that the proctor, while invigilating an online examination, addressed her as “baby”.

Sharing the purported screenshots of a conversation on a third-party platform, which have gone viral on social media now, the student claimed that as she asked the invigilator when she could submit in PDF format the answers she wrote during an end-semester examination, the proctor responded by saying “another 3 minutes baby”.

Indianexpress.com tried to reach out to several officials of the institution but did not get a response.

A student from the institution’s Bannerghatta Road Campus, who requested anonymity, told Indianexpress.com, “The nature of the chats that take place on this third-party platform are sometimes inappropriate and distracting. The behaviour of the proctor also made us feel extremely uncomfortable. He asked us to bend the camera down to a low angle saying he wanted to ensure that no malpractice takes place. But it gave us the feeling that we are being watched in an inappropriate manner.”

Another student alleged that the faculty has responded to the issue by “supporting the proctor’s inappropriate action”. “It was said this is an example of his caring approach and we were advised to take the matter in the right spirit,” the student said.

Another BBA student from the institution’s main campus located in Dairy Circle said the university never acknowledges problems being faced by the student community, including internet issues being faced by many while attending classes or writing exams online. “Students are disqualified even if they face internet outage while taking exams. The management has issued guidelines which state ensuring stable internet connectivity will be the responsibility of the student.”

A BCom student said that these problems, coupled with the absence of a proper grievance redressal system, has pushed many students into distress amid uncertainties posed by the pandemic.

However, an internal communication sent by the Controller of Examinations Professor Johny Joseph to the students claimed that the management would provide psychological and technical support to the students. “We encourage you to continue to be in touch in case you feel you would need psychological support. For technical issues and other examination-related issues, feel free to continue to email and we will continue to support in the best possible ways,” the note read.

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Meanwhile, the Karnataka unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) has decided to approach the University Grants Commission with a detailed report on the incidents of alleged misconduct at Christ (Deemed to be University).

“We have already notified the jurisdictional police on the respective matter and are planning to meet the city police commissioner soon. The student, who brought the allegation against the proctor, has been forced to admit that the the issue was resolved internally. Probably, this was out of fear that her identity and career would be compromised,” Manish Govind Raj, state General Secretary of NSUI, said.

He alleged that similar issues were reported from other private universities in the state as well but most matters were resolved in a transparent manner later on.

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“I had personally approached Manipal (Academy of Higher Education) after a similar complaint earlier and submitted a representation. The management there acted swiftly and appreciated the sensitivity of the matter. However, Christ (Deemed to be University) is not ready to listen to the grievances of students,” Raj claimed.

First published on: 23-06-2021 at 03:08:58 pm
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