Universities in Delhi deliberate how to finish session
While most institutes are waiting for the recommendations of the committee formed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities have also conducted internal meetings to brainstorm possible solutions.Updated: Apr 16, 2020 09:38 IST
With the Union government extending the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 till May 3, higher educational institutes across Delhi are now deliberating on how to conduct the annual examination for hundreds of thousands of students.
While most institutes are waiting for the recommendations of the committee formed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities have also conducted internal meetings to brainstorm possible solutions.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday said it was trying to finalise the process for conducting exams on digital platforms. Keeping JNU’s diverse student population in mind, registrar Pramod Kumar said a “flexible yet efficient” mechanism will be devised based on the recommendations of the deans and chairpersons, which are to be submitted by Thursday, and after wider consultations.
The academic committee has recommended cancelling the summer vacation this year. In its report, it also said students, who will not be able to appear for online examinations due to lack of access to internet connectivity, should be allowed to appear for their exams after the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Najma Akhtar, vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, said the university had submitted its recommendations to the UGC panel. “Following consultations with our teachers and deans, we have planned to hold five 20-mark online assessments based on each unit of a paper. The best of three will be taken as each student’s final score. This will give students an option to better their scores even if they get low marks in one unit assessment,” she said.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) made a list of recommendations to DU vice-chancellor and the UGC a day after the varsity held a meeting with its deans to discuss modalities of online examination which could be conducted for its nine lakh students. One of the options discussed included submission of answers via audio clips.
“For a large university such as DU, an online examination system is not viable. The university neither has the infrastructure nor the capability of providing/ensuring a level playing field to the diverse student population it caters to,” DUTA president Rajib Ray said in its letter to the V-C on Tuesday.
The recommendations listed by DUTA include conducting examinations as soon as universities reopen with priority given to final year students. The teachers’ body also said that shifting to an annual mode of teaching, especially at the undergraduate level, should be seriously considered.
Generally, the May-June period is the time when universities and colleges across the capital conduct admissions for their academic session that begins in July-August. The rescheduling of board examination due to Covid-19 lockdown and delay in academic learning is bound to have a ripple effect, which will affect the admission process as well.
Delhi University is mulling over taking the admission process completely online, including the verification of documents and certifications. JNU has suggested conducting interviews via video conferencing. The Ambedkar University of Delhi said it was consulting faculty members and would not be able to comment yet.