February 7, 2021 1:33:45 pm
Even as thousands of students enrolled in colleges affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have started a social media campaign demanding that the upcoming semester exams be conducted in online mode, it appears that their demand is likely to be fulfilled.
On Tuesday, a special meeting of the Board of Examinations (BoE) will be held at SPPU where the decision on the mode of examinations and other details will be ironed out. Senior officials at the university have confirmed that the final decision will be taken only after deliberation at the BoE but it appears that the scale is tilting in favour of the students’ demands.
Officials said that the major argument in favour of the online mode of examinations is the time saved in conducting examinations and declaring results and manpower too.
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Mahesh Kakade, Director, Board of Examination and Evaluation, SPPU said, “This time, we will have students from first-year degree to the fifth year for regular exams plus the backlog students, which means the numbers are extremely high. If the regular offline mode of examinations is to be conducted, it takes more than 72 days to conduct exams. It is because there are so many subjects, optional subjects plus diploma courses and all. We have to stagger it out so a student takes one subject exam a day, hence it takes time. In online mode, the same time is reduced to 40 days, saving us one month. Exams are of one-hour duration, we can even offer 2 papers a day.”
Not just conducting examinations but even paper corrections take lesser time in online mode. In offline mode, the Central assessment programme has to be followed where assessors are to be present in a particular place for corrections whereas, in online mode, data can be collected and results processed quickly. “Offline paper corrections can take up to 45 days or more whereas online, we save a month here as well. Overall, we can save nearly two months’ time if we go for an online mode of examinations. Since the academic schedule is already derailed because of the COVID 19 situation, this could be a good option for some normalcy to return. But then there are certain pitfalls. We had received a lot of student’s complaints, technology was new. So, all this will have to be weighed in BoE before a final decision is taken,” he said.
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