For Calcutta University (CU), 2002 was a memorable year, as it symbolised the success of the varsity’s age-old attempts to publish results of all undergraduate exams before the Durga puja vacation. But there are no celebrations in sight this year, as the tall claims of results on time, symbolising “education reform”, have fallen flat.
The publication of results of all major under-graduate examinations — BA, B.Sc and B.Com Part-I and Part-II, honours and general — are going to be delayed, affecting over 150,000 students taking the exams.
“The repeated postponement of the examination dates has certainly disrupted the entire process, beginning from smooth holding of the exams to the evaluation of answer-scripts and tabulation of results. We doubt it will be possible for us to meet last year’s targets in the declaration of results this year,” said Suranjan Das, CU pro vice-chancellor (academic).
The university this year has recorded the highest number of examination dates postponed because of strikes, panchayat elections, municipal by-elections and even religious festivals. This has contributed to the announcement of results being pushed back.
In keeping with a directive of the state government — that all major exams be conducted during the summer vacations every year — the university has begun the process of holding major under-graduate exams in mid-April. They are scheduled to be over by June-end.
The dates of four examinations had to be revised in May alone — May 11 and May 12 for the panchayat polls, May 15 for a religious festival and May 21 for the nationwide industrial strike. Another date will have to be rescheduled because of a municipal bypoll next month.
According to Das, what has added to the problem is the fact that Durga Puja this year will be held earlier than most other years. This autumn, the Puja vacations start in the last week of September, with Saptami falling on October 2.
Das, however, said necessary measures were being taken to try and meet last year’s targets. “There has never been a rescheduling of so many examination dates in a single year in the past few decades,” said an official of the examination department, adding that the chain reaction could result in “lengthy delays in publication of the results”.
According to CU examination department officials, once an examination is postponed, the process of distribution of answer-scripts to the examiners automatically gets disrupted. This, subsequently, leads to a delay in the completion of the evaluation process, which, in turn, causes a pushback in the final publication of results.