A staggering 97.89 per cent of IIT Kharagpur students, most of whom are present on the campus, have said they want to write the end-semester exams online, said an official of the institute.
Last week, after the institute gave the students, except those in undergraduate first year, the option to choose how they would like to write the end-semester exams following protests over “forcing students” to write the exams offline, 7,899 out of 8,069 said they would write the papers online.
Only 41 students are willing to write the exams in offline mode and 129 have not exercised any option and will be treated as having opted for the offline mode.
After an open-house session between the IIT Kharagpur director, V.K.Tewari, and 8,000-odd students on March 21, it was decided that the students would be given the option to write the exam in the offline or online mode.
On March 8, when the institute had asked the students to come to the campus by March 31 so they could write the end-semester exams offline in April, a section of students had said that it would be financially difficult for them to go to the campus for a fortnight, return home after the exams and again go back to the campus for the new semester.
The students, except those in undergraduate first year, were asked to state their choice by March 25.
An IIT official said almost all the students had opted to write the exams online — a mode that has drawn objection from teachers because the process does not involve rigorous invigilation.
“Offline exams are a must as it would ensure a fair assessment, from which we can get an idea about learning gaps among students and work on plugging them before the new semester begins. But the administration buckled under pressure,” said an IIT professor.
Another teacher said the reversal of the decision would amount to injustice for those who had opted for in-person exams. “Over 97 per cent of the students will get handsome grades. The remaining few will have to work hard and write the papers under the watch of invigilators,” said the teacher.
An IIT Kharagpur official said the number of those who would write the exams in offline mode is so negligible that they had advised the teachers to explore the possibility of holding the exams online for all. The matter, he said, will be decided after a consultation with the students.
The tests are scheduled from April 7 to 13.
Last week, more than 200 students held a dharna outside the administrative block of IIT (ISM) in Dhanbad, irked by the administration’s plan to conduct mid-semester exams offline.