February 7, 2021 7:50:27 pm
A social media campaign started by thousands of students enrolled in colleges affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), demanding upcoming semester exams to be conducted in online mode, seems to have paid off.
On Tuesday, a special Board of Examinations (BoE) is being conducted at SPPU where the decision on 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.
Officials said that the major factor in favour of the online mode is the time saved in conducting examinations and declaring results besides saving manpower.
Mahesh Kakade, director, board of examination and evaluation, SPPU, said, “This time, we will have students from first year degree to fifth year for regular exams plus the backlog students, which means the numbers are extremely high. If 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 plan it such that a student has to take only one exam a day, hence it takes time. In online mode, it takes 40 days to conduct examinations, saving us a month. Exams are of one-hour duration, we can even offer two papers a day.”
Not just conducting examinations but even answer checking takes less 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 in online, we save a month here as well. Overall, we can save nearly two months if we go for 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 complaints from students in online mode. The technology is new. So, all this will have to be weighed in BoE before a final decision is taken,” he said.
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