Panjab University online exams: Exams being taken from cafes a mockery of the system, say academicians
Private cafes are offering facilities such as internet, laptops and A4 size sheetsUpdated: Sep 16, 2020 23:34 IST
With online examinations for final-semester students of PU-affiliated colleges starting on Thursday, private cafes across the state are offering facilities such as internet, laptops and A4 size sheets so the exam can be taken on their premises.
Many academicians have expressed concern over this and said it is a mockery of the system as there will have no check on students.
Book depots in Chaura Bazaar, Doraha and Khanna have stocked answer-sheets, each comprising 12 pages, available at a cost of ₹10 to ₹20. Social media sites and online marketplace platforms are flooded with posts from café owners and books depots offering facilities to students.
Many students in the district which do not have internet connections, due to which they have to shell out ₹200 per exam to take them from cafes.
Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Doraha and student from a PU-affiliated college, said, “I don’t know how to send the answer-sheet in PDF format, so I have decided to visit a cafe near my house. They are offering all necessary facilities and will upload the answer-sheet as well. Two of my friends are also going to the same café for the exam.”
Kamalpreet Singh, a BA finalyear student, said, “ This is the first time I am appearing in an online exam and had no idea from where to get the answer-sheets from as they were provided by college authorities earlier. But this time, the situation is different, so I visited the books market and the answer sheets were easily available. I got it for all my five exams for ₹100.”
Many academicians have stated that online exams are not the right way of testing, rather an open-book exam without any transparency. A member of the PU syndicate, Harpreet Singh Dua, said, “In a meeting of the coordination committee On September 1, it was decided that the matter should be forwarded to syndicate as there is no such provision in the present PU calendar to hold exams in such a manner. The university should have given sufficient time to colleges to gather data on how many students will appear online or offline. The syndicate should form a rule to conduct the exam.”
RS Jhanji, syndicate member and principal, AS Khanna, said, “The varsity should have involved stakeholders to discuss the online examination. They should have opted for only one mode, as now, they have asked the colleges in rural areas to make arrangements for offline exams.”
Colleges in rural areas have given student the option to submit answer-sheets to the college within two hours after the exam
PU-affiliated colleges in rural areas including Mata Ganga Khalsa College, Kottan, GNN College, Doraha and GTB College, Dakha have informed students that if they can’t submit the answer-sheets online, they can submit the same in a sealed envelope physically to the nearest nodal centre or college within two hours after the exam gets over.
Officiating principal of GTB College, Dakha, Avtar Singh, said, “Over 20 final-year students have informed us that they will submit the answer-sheet to the college after attempting the exam online as they don’t know how to send it in PDF format.”
Despite repeated attempts, Parvinder Singh, PU controller examination, could not be contacted for comments.
For the convenience of the students, PU will be uploading the question papers on their website on September 17.