Law students studying in affiliated colleges of the Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) continue to be on warpath against the varsity’s recent circular directing students to compulsorily appear physically for the previous semester exam. Earlier, the varsity had announced promotion for all students in intermediate semesters to the next semester without exams, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Veeranagouda Patil, a law student enrolled to a college in Chikkodi said students like him have been urging the varsity to hold exams using alternate methods over offline exams. “Alternate methods such as online tests or submission of assignments to avoid a delayed academic schedule. With KSLU adamant on conducting offline exams, with this delay it will result in the academic year being more than the actual. These are series of exams that month-long which also requires preparation time,” he said.
Further, two students had approached the Karnataka High Court last week challenging circulars issued by KSLU and the Bar Council of India (BCI) mandating the conduct of intermediate semester examinations.
According to the plea filed by Rithvik Balanagraj B and Arunkumara H S, the guidelines issued by BCI “deviates” from that issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) which suggested grading of students could be done on the basis of internal evaluation and performance in the previous semester, with 50 per cent weightage for each, due to situations that prevailed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The guidelines issued by the Bar Council of India, to the extent that it grants permission to the law universities to conduct physical examinations for intermediate students and deviates from the University Grants Commission guidelines, differentiates between law students and non-law students as the non-law students are promoted based on the 50-50 aggregate of internal marks of the semester and marks scored in previous semesters,” they noted in the plea.
Further, outstation students are wary of them attending the exams scheduled from November 23 raising health-related concerns as well. For instance, Aarush Jhunjhunwala, a student from Rajasthan said, “Even after going through the ordeal of arriving for physical exams, if a student gets infected with coronavirus between the course of these exams, he/she would not be able to attend the remaining exams making all efforts futile. While most Covid patients in Karnataka are home treated, a student staying in a hostel, hotel, or a PG away from family would not get basic home treatment as well.”
Praphul P Joseph, another student, who hails from Kerala pointed out that the conduct of exams now for the previous semester would burden the students more. “This would either lead to us writing three sets of examinations — of the previous, present, and the upcoming semesters — or would result in an elongated course duration,” he said.
Meanwhile, three Kerala MPs — Benny Behanan, Ramya Haridas, and N K Premachandran — have reached out to the KSLU VC seeking him to opt for alternative evaluation methods. Earlier, Karnataka leader of opposition Siddaramaiah and Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy had also suggested the same, in solidarity with the protesting students.
The students, with the support of the National Students’ Union of India, have also planned to hold a protest in Bengaluru on Saturday in a bid to elicit a “student-friendly decision” from KSLU.
Meanwhile, KSLU officials said, “The promotion of students to the next semester was done only for the sake of admission to the next semester. It was mere misunderstanding and confusion among students of intermediate semesters that their exams would not be conducted at all. We request the students to refrain from holding misinformation campaigns.”
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