Days after the Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) announced examinations across semesters in 106 affiliated colleges, students and political leaders continued to oppose the move.
Students have pointed out that many who had returned home to different parts of the country will have to travel back to Karnataka for the exams, and also that most colleges have not been able to finish the syllabus amid irregular online classes.
A sixth-semester student from Chhattisgarh told Indianexpress.com: “Conducting offline exams for intermediate semesters too is an insensitive move on part of the KSLU, as it forces students to risk their lives in times of Covid-19. Most of us feel staying at home is safer than travelling to Karnataka for the exams.”
Praveen, another student from Bengaluru, added, “At least 60 per cent of the syllabus was completed in haste using online methods after the lockdown in March. While we raised the concern that many could not afford internet facilities, the University is still keen on holding the exams.”
Leader of Opposition in Karnataka assembly Siddaramaiah joined cause with the students. In a series of tweets Sunday, he urged the varsity to withdraw the exam notification.
“Karnataka State Law University has notified examination dates for all the semesters. This is in spite of guidelines issued by State govt & UGC to not conduct intermediate sem exams due to pandemic,” he tweeted.
There are concerns about incompletion of syllabus due to suspension of classes. Many colleges & students have no adequate digital infra to conduct online classes.
KSLU should be considerate enough to the problems of students instead of overburdening them with exams as well.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) August 23, 2020
The former Karnataka CM pointed out that several hostels had been converted into Covid care centres. “How can students from other districts and states come back to write the exams? Where will they stay?” he questioned.
Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, however, said the exam issue had been “unnecessarily hyped” by the media. “This (conducting exams) is not a problem but has been made an issue by the media,” Madhuswamy said, adding that he would discuss the matter with the KSLU Vice-Chancellor.
With the university yet to clarify if the examinations will be postponed, a university official said, “The exam notification dated August 13 stands and the last date for students across 10 semesters to pay the exam and marks card fee is August 24.”
When asked about the revised guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) that direct universities and colleges not to conduct exams for intermediate semesters/years, a KSLU official said, “This university comes under the ambit of the Law Department, which has not made such announcements. The exams are over a month away, and preparations are underway to conduct them in a student-friendly manner.”
As many as 20 affiliated colleges of KSLU are located in Bengaluru, with other colleges situated across almost all districts of the state.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 tally in Karnataka rose to 2,77,814 on August 23, with 1,07,875 cases confirmed in Bengaluru alone.
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