STUDENTS OF law colleges affiliated to the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) alleged on Tuesday that the university was “not keeping its word” on bringing down pass percentages. One month after announcing that the minimum pass percentage for law courses would be reduced from 50 per cent to 40 per cent aggregate of all subjects, the university has not applied the new rules while declaring the results of the first semester last week. The university has stuck to its earlier 50 per cent aggregate formula.
On Tuesday, a group of students from different law colleges submitted a letter to Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar, seeking his intervention to ensure that the revised rule is implemented from this academic year and the results are revised. Abhishek Raskar, a final year student, said the students were elated when they came to know in December that the aggregate passing percentage has been changed to 40. “However, when the old rule was applied and results were declared, we were shocked. For several years, students have been asking for reforms and this revised passing criteria was a result of it. Our university has one of the lowest number of students passing law exams. That’s why these reforms need to be implemented immediately,” he said.
In October, Karmalkar had initiated the process for introduction of the reforms during a meeting with the heads of law colleges and university departments to discuss the low passing percentage of law students. The pass percentage of law students, especially in first year, is about 10 per cent. Paper checking and passing criteria were pointed out as one of the major problems.
During a meeting of the academic council on December 19, it was decided that the cut-off percentage for passing would be reduced from 50 to 40 per cent. Meanwhile, Arvind Shaligram, registrar, SPPU, said there was some “misconception” over the issue. “Yes, it is true that the resolution was passed in the academic council but it will be implemented from the academic year 2018-2019, because certain processes such as formal approvals and passing it through statutes are still to be finalised,” he said.
Students’ organisations like the ABVP, too, have written to university authorities, demanding implementation of the new criteria for the October 2017 exams. The university has also been urged to publish an official ordinance, stating the new standard of passing for all law exams.