'Castles In Air': Students' Body Condemns UGC's Decision On Final Year Exams
“Central Government and UGC circulars are castles in air,” the SFI has said in response to the guidelines released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on final year or final semester exams.
“Central Government and UGC circulars are castles in air,” the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), a left-wing student organisation affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said in response to the guidelines released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on final year or final semester exams. “This condemns students to discriminatory exam patterns with the aim of promoting commercial interests,” the Delhi SFI body has said. The UGC has made it compulsory for final year/semester students to appear for exams. It has asked universities to conduct exams in September in online, offline or in both offline-online mode. The examination for rest of the students have been scrapped and they will be promoted directly.
The SFI has questioned the preparedness of the government in holding the exams.
On Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), situated in Delhi where COVID-19 cases are rising every day, it has said ‘the possibility of a risk-free ‘offline’ exam in September looks bleak.’
On Delhi University’s decision to hold open book exams, the SFI has said, “the coming of this circular just one day before the hearing in Delhi High Court regarding the matter of open book exam hints that the circular has been issued to serve as justification. The government and the UGC - who have faced continuous pressure from the student and teacher community of DU have decided to discard all suggestions and grievances. They have taken a position which shows that inaccessibility of internet and course material, the resultant unpreparedness for exams, the faulty online exam system mired by glitches, and the mental well-being of students are not of primary concern." DU is planning to hold open book exams, which has been strongly opposed by the students.
In JNU, SFI said, due to a strong proactive student union ‘the administration is not in the capacity to push for open book exam’. On how the decision to hold online exam would affect JNU students, the SFI has said, “during the pandemic time, far from providing students fellowships or helping those bonafide students struck in Delhi NCR, the administration has been imposing online assignments on the beleaguered student community. The JNUSU has written continuously to the administration to make JNUSU a part of statutory body meetings and take all views of stakeholders on board, but now it is pushing a discriminatory dual mode where those who are not able to give online examinations will be left in limbo till the university opens.”
It has highlighted the plight of those students whose families have suffered financial setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many terminal year students require their mark sheets soon to apply for other universities – both domestic and foreign. There is also a widespread concern of terminal year students, especially whose families have suffered losses in income during the lockdown, that they need their mark sheets to apply for jobs. For such students sitting for the online exam becomes the ‘only’ option."
There is no plan provided by the government which addresses the concerns of such students who do not have reading material or a stable internet connection, it has said.
Congress affiliated students' body NSUI has also opposed the UGC's decision.