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Varsities plan conducting exams in offline, hybrid mode; students apprehensive over uniformity 

The universities in Tamil Nadu will be conducting the semester exams in physical mode. A recent order released by the Tamil Nadu state government directed all the colleges and universities in the state to conduct semester exams in offline mode. 

Written by Sakshi Saroha | New Delhi I |
Updated: December 1, 2021 9:40:24 am
University exams, semester exams 2021The flexibility of taking the online exam is welcomed by the students as many of them have not yet returned to the campus yet. (Express Photo by Sandip Daundkar)

As many states have reopened universities and colleges for offline classes, the exam conducting policies are witnessing varied trends. While some universities are still continuing with the online mode for conducting exams, institutes like IIT-Delhi and Delhi University will conduct the semester exams in hybrid mode.

In response, some students of the IIT-Delhi alleged that the administration’s decision to conduct examinations in hybrid mode is not offering a level-playing field. The students have filed an online petition which has over 650 signatures.

The students claim that not everyone has returned to the campus yet which means there is a substantial number of people who would still be taking exams from the comfort of their homes while the others have to take the exams in the classroom. 

“We have received the notification of offline majors on very short notice, by the time most people had either offboarded or booked tickets home. We don’t see why the institute did not plan this earlier,” the online petition reads. 

Meanwhile, Shantanu Roy, Dean, Academics IIT-Delhi, said, “As long as students are there on campus, I don’t see a problem in reporting to the classroom and appearing in exams. The exam is the same for them and what is unfair in appearing in a classroom environment.”

Delhi University, on the other hand, has allowed students who have opted to appear for the exams in physical mode to take the exam from their home. However, those who have opted for the online mode of exams, cannot choose the physical mode of examination. 

The flexibility of taking the online exam is welcomed by the students as many of them have not returned to the campus yet.

Rahul Meena, a resident of Kota, Rajasthan, said that the rising state of pollution, as well as the recent sudden increase in the Covid-19 cases, have discouraged him to travel back to campus. 

“I am glad that the university is providing us the opportunity to take the exam from the comfort of our home. This will save time in travelling and adjusting as now we can use these days in preparing well for the exams,” Meena said. 

Whereas Harshita Joshi, a resident of Delhi and student of Ramjas College is planning to sit for the exam in physical mode. “Last semester, I had faced connectivity issues while uploading my answer sheets which was an unwanted hassle. Moreover, I missed the exam environment while attempting the paper as the comfort of home can make one less attentive during the exam. Therefore, I decided to physically appear for exams this semester,”

Aligarh Muslim University will be conducting the semester exams in online mode this year as well. As per the university official, all the relevant arrangements have been made for the same and the exams will be conducted online citing the UGC guidelines. 

“As AMU is a residential university, it is not feasible to conduct exams in offline mode. We accommodate three students in one hostel room. However, as per fresh guidelines by UGC, only one student is allowed to stay in one hostel room citing Covid-19 protocols. Hence, the choice to conduct exams in offline mode cannot be exercised,” the university official told indianexpress.com

Meanwhile, the universities in Tamil Nadu will be conducting the semester exams in physical mode. A recent order released by the Tamil Nadu state government directed all the colleges and universities in the state to conduct semester exams in offline mode. 

The department has stated that as the number of active Covid-19 cases has declined in the state, the universities should conduct the offline exam following all the standard precautionary measures and guidelines enumerated in the government order. 

However, the university students are not happy with the decision especially after the recent news of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. 

“We were prepared to take the exams in online mode like the previous semester as no fresh updates were issued by the university on offline conduct of exams. Now this sudden decision is unnecessary and deceiving for us. When the classes were conducted online, why should we appear for exams in offline mode and risk our life? The Covid-19 cases have declined just marginally but the threat is still alive,” Rohith Raman, a student from Chennai said. 

While many universities have decided on their stand of conducting exams, universities like Jamia Millia Islamia and Panjab University, Chandigarh are still mulling over their choices. 

“We are still assessing the situation and a decision will be made keeping the comfort of students as well as necessary arrangements to be made by the university in consideration. The last semester was conducted in online mode, however, as the campus has gradually opened and offline classes have resumed in certain courses, the exam can be conducted offline. However, no final decision has been made yet,” Renuka Salwan, Panjab University spokesperson said. 

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