AFTER OPTING to conduct its final semester examinations for various technical courses online in August amid the coronavirus lockdown, the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has put off plans to hold its winter semester tests online citing objections raised by students.
In a recent communiqué submitted to GTU Vice-Chancellor Prof Navin Sheth, a section of students have stated “a miracle happened in the final semester results as the students, who were detained in previous semesters, were awarded nine out of 10 SPI (semester performance index). Thus, it has caused injustice to meritorious students”. The Indian Express has a copy of the letter.
In August, the GTU had conducted the final semester examinations for undergraduate courses online. The exam, marred by technical glitches and student data leak, was based on multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and awarded no negative marks for incorrect answers. “Look at the online MCQ marks. Almost ever-yone is getting 9 out of 10 SPI, including those who were detained in the previous semesters… We only request you to retain the offline exams,” the letter submitted by a section of students stated.
The “exceptional” marks awarded to most students in the August exam also upped the overall performance in most courses as against the previous year. For instance, the pass percentage in the summer 2020 or the sixth semester for diploma engineering course improved from 89 per cent recorded in 2019 to 98 per cent this year. Similarly, pass percentage of B Pharm summer 2010 results improved to 94 per cent from 79 per cent recorded last year. In Bachelor of Engineering (BE) eight or final semester, the overall pass percentage increased from 91 to 95 per cent during the period.
The university had attributed the improvement in the overall results to the MCQ exam pattern and absence of negative marking.
On Sunday, GTU Vice-Chancellor said, “They (students) claimed this (online) examination system caused injustice to meritorious students as the average students also scored good marks… Based on the students’ feedback on online examinations, the university has decided not to conduct the winter semester examinations online.”
The university recently also postponed the offline examinations scheduled to commence from December 10. Instead, it has commenced its new semester on December 3. More than four lakh students from over 480 technical institutes affiliated with GTU, the largest technical university of the state, were to take their exams scheduled from December 10.
This year, the technical university had to conduct its online exams more than once after its data was hacked and personal information of nearly 1,200 BE students, including their photographs, PAN card, Aadhaar card and Voter ID card details, leaked on a website just ahead of the examination. The GTU had registered a complaint with the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell in the matter.