The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration Wednesday said that schools and special centres of the university would be given the freedom to decide whether they want to hold online or offline exams or a combination of both, signalling that there would be no set template for examinations in the university this year due to the lockdown.
JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar also said the difference in the mode of examinations can vary not just from one school to the other, but also in different centres within the same school. The decision, the university claimed, was taken by the members of the Academic Council (AC) and the resolution was circulated online.
The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), however, has alleged that the resolution was not circulated to several members including their representatives in the AC.
In a statement Wednesday, Registrar Pramod Kumar said that the AC had “validated holding of (online) classes “. “The Council also approved the recommendations submitted by the Deans of Schools and Chairpersons of Special Centres on the methods of holding semester examinations in their respective schools/centres keeping in mind the difficulties of following the normal academic calendar and regular mode of such examinations in view of the on-going lockdown related to Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
The deadlines for submission of MPhil dissertations and PhD theses will be “in accordance with relevant UGC guidelines” Kumar added. “The Council has authorized the Vice-Chancellor to approve any additional suggestion/request that may come from any School or Special Centre for completing the current academic session and for starting the new academic session,” he said.
Asked what this meant in practical terms, Kumar said, “We have given Schools the responsibility of conducting examinations to the Schools and Special Centres. Depending on students’ interest, they can take online exams or offline exams, or a combination of both.”
He also said schools would also be solely responsible for deciding which software or mechanism would be used for online exams, if at all.
JNUTA has criticized the decision saying it was “illegal”. “For most Schools and Special Centres, their ‘recommendations’ placed before the Academic Council have not been through the due process of having been formulated and approved by their respective Boards of Studies/Special Committees on the basis of the recommendation of the Centres concerned. Any alteration without such a process, of modes of delivery, systems of evaluation or pre-requisites for completion of courses would, however, be illegal,” the JNUTA said.
“Further, the Statutes of the University are also crystal clear that the powers of the Academic Council cannot be delegated to the Vice-Chancellor, even by the AC itself. The failure to ensure that the student body to whom all this is to apply has been consulted, through SFC meetings and through student representation in the Boards and in the AC, is also a serious act of omission,” it added.
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