In an instance of serious negligence, the University College of Engineering (UCoE) of the Punjabi University forgot to conduct the examination for compulsory Punjabi for students who entered into different branches of engineering through lateral entry. This grave oversight by the UCoE management has left more than 100 students, who graduated recently, in the lurch as the university authorities have withheld their detailed mark sheets (DMSs).
Besides the students who graduated, lateral-entry students in the third and fourth years (as per coming academic session) also suffered because the UCoE authorities usually conduct the compulsory Punjabi exam in the first year of the BTech course. In the lateral-entry scheme, students are directly admitted into the second year of a four-year programme after completing their diploma, which caused them to miss this exam which has to be cleared by all students to be eligible for degrees.
The issue came to light when students of the 2011-12 batch were informed by the university authorities about them not having completed their course, when they came to seek their final DMSs.
"We were never told to take any such compulsory examination. The UCoE staff and heads of all departments are at fault as they did not bother to brief us about such norms," said a student who was admitted to the mechanical engineering course through lateral entry.
Following this, the affected students and their parents took the issue to senior authorities of the university, who held meetings with students and the UCoE staff.
However, one such meeting on Tuesday failed to produce any solution to the problem.
"Why should we suffer? Many of us have applied for higher studies while others are searching for jobs. Withholding our DMSs may dim our chances of pursuing our dreams," said another student.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the university, on condition of anonymity, said the UCoE faculty was looking at ways to solve the issue.
"The senior officials have proposed to conduct online tests for the students who graduated recently. Moreover, they also proposed to the UCoE to hold this examination in the second year, along with lateral-entry students," said an official.
The university's dean (Academic) Jaswinder Singh said the issue would be solved at the earliest.
"It will be ensured that such incidents do not happen in future," he said.