Updated: March 1, 2021 11:22:02 pm
The semester exams of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) are likely to be delayed due to a host of reasons, including indecision over which agency will conduct the online exams, and whether the exam for a single semester will be conducted or two semesters will be clubbed together.
On February 9, a special meeting of the Board of Examinations had approved online MCQ (multiple choice questions) exams for the first semester of first to final-year students. The exams were supposed to start from March 20 for second and third-year degree students while for first-year students enrolled in various courses, it was to begin by March 30.
However, several representations were made to the university by students as well as senior Senate members, demanding that the first and second semester be combined for the exams, due to the delay in completing the syllabus and examinations.
Currently, the first semester examination which should have taken place by October 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and irregularity in online teaching, are scheduled to take place in March 2021. The end semester exams are likely to be held some time in June, according to Exam department officials.
Even as the university is dealing with demands to club the two semesters, it has also received demands to hire a new company to conduct the online exams, even though the previous company’s contract is valid for a year.
Meanwhile, anxious students are now demanding that the university declare the final exam dates as they are concerned about further delays due to the prevailing confusion.
But Mahesh Kakade, director of the Board of Examinations and Evaluation, said that until the company to conduct the exams is finalised, no date can be declared.
“Once the contractor is fixed, we will need at least a months’ notice to conduct exams. Since students need to be given advance notice, we have to prepare a question bank for 6,500 subjects. We will also be conducting mock tests for students to make them comfortable with the online format, which will take a week’s time at least,” he said.
Asked if the earlier schedule of March 20 can be adhered to for the exams of second and third-year students, he said it “appeared difficult”.
“We have started preparations from our end but the number is in several lakhs of students. Conducting mock tests and then actual exams takes some preparation and planning… usually 30 days are needed, ” he said.
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