Patna University students cannot be casual about attendance any more. The university administration has decided to impose a fine on students who remain absent or bunk classes regularly.
As per the notification, students who are absent without proper leave sanction will have to pay a fine of Rs 50 for each day they skip college. If they skip one or two periods in a day, they will be fined Rs 25 for the day. The collected fine will be deposited in the college/department’s development fund for organising seminars, beautification and other activities of the colleges and department.
University sources said the notification circulated to all college principals and department heads has advantages as well as disadvantages but is likely to invite students’ wrath once the colleges reopen after summer vacation in the first week of July.
The idea behind the new doctrine is to improve academic atmosphere in departments and colleges so that students spend the maximum time class. It is disadvantageous for those PU students who are preparing for competitive exams, working students and married women students who will now have to ensure regular attendance.
Neelmani, a second year economics student at Patna College, said: “We don’t know about the new directive as the college is closed for summer vacation. But, if it is true it will have a huge impact on students preparing for competitive exams.”
Neelmani, who is preparing for banking services exams said he had got himself admitted into a bank-coaching institute and was having a tough time attending classes in college as well as the coaching institute.
Echoing Neelmani, another student, Vikash Kumar of the postgraduate history department, said: “It is very difficult for any student who attends classes for five hours a day, regularly, to clear competitive exams.”
However, teachers and university officials hold a different view. M.N. Sinha, a geology teacher at Patna Science College, said: “If the university wants to restore its lost glory, student attendance is a must, if teachers are ready to take classes on a regular basis there is no logic for students to remain absent from classes.” It is worth noting here that in the 1970s, when Patna University produced many civil servants and IITians, full attendance was mandatory for students.
What should worry students is the university does not have a mechanism to check proxy attendance and it is the duty of senior teachers to check this. Patna University pro-vice chancellor Ranjeet Kumar Verma said: “The university is working on a mechanism to check proxy attendance.” The pro-VC further said department heads and college principals have been asked to send monthly attendance records of students on a regular basis.
At present, seventy five per cent attendance is mandatory for every student. Failing that they are not allowed to sit for examinations. Despite the directive, students remain irregular in classes and produce medical certificates seeking getting relaxation in attendance at the time of form-filling for exams.