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Parents, students brave cold to sit on indefinite protest at SPPU

Affected students and their families have come from Nashik, Ahmednagar and rural parts of Pune, camping at the university premises since Wednesday as a last-ditch attempt to be heard.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune | December 24, 2020 11:06:51 pm
Savitribai Phule Pune University, SPPU, SPPU MOU with Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICAI, indian express newsSPPU Vice Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar said that this is also another way to counter the coming placement season, which is expected to be slower this year. (File)

WITH THE temperature at 9.9 degrees Celsius, many students and their families braved the cold to sit on an indefinite protest at SPPU against losing a year over “technical glitches” in examinations. Students have claimed that many of them have been failed despite raising issues that they faced during the exam while others claim that they were denied a chance to appear for re-examination.

Affected students and their families have come from Nashik, Ahmednagar and rural parts of Pune, camping at the university premises since Wednesday as a last-ditch attempt to be heard. Protesters were moved out of the campus by police at 10.30 pm owing to the night curfew, following which they slept in a community hall, and were back to protest on Thursday.

Manager at a private firm in Nashik, Sunil Doshi and his daughter Nehal are also at the protest. “The day of the examination, the system logged me out automatically after I attempted about 20 questions. When I went to log in again, the system said the paper had been submitted successfully. I emailed the university, spoke to college authorities, raised complaint on the portal, made numerous calls, but on November 7, when re-examination papers took place, I did not get the opportunity to reappear. Now I am losing a year over a technical issue,” said Doshi, a third-year student of BA psychology.

Sunil, who took a day’s leave for the protest, said he had extended it indefinitely. “Her future is at stake. All we are asking is that the university show us the answer sheets so we can verify she indeed did not fare well,” he said.

Another student, Yogita Vasant Dongre, from Dighi was going to be the first from her family to get into a postgraduation course. Her father, who does painting jobs, sat with her late into the evening as the fourth-year pharmacy student demanded an explanation. “Till the seventh semester, I was a distinction student. The day of the exam, the system would log me in and then log me out. but I completed and submitted my paper and now the result says I got 13, 16 and 20 marks in three subjects,” she said.

Her biggest worry: Wednesday was the deadline for applications to the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) for entry into MPharm courses. She was denied an application due to the failed result.

Oishee Chatterjee, a third-year BA student, recalls the “nonsensical questions” on her paper. “The day of the exam, there were questions like ‘What’s your name’ and option was some random year. The questions made no sense. They told us we would get re-exams on November 7. In another subject, I got a Marathi paper and I don’t understand the language. I had two exams to give on the day of the re-exam and, of these, one paper again had silly questions while a second one was never assigned to me. I made so many complaints and yet my result remains failed, I don’t know my mistake,” she said.

Mahesh Kakade, director, examinations and evaluation, said results of nearly 10.000 students were revised.

“We cannot pass every student just because they are asking us to do so. But if the case is genuine, we will still consider. We will look at it on a case-to-case basis,” he said.

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