Calcutta University’s undergraduate board of studies and the postgraduate faculty councils have recommended that the end-semester examinations at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels be held offline.
The undergraduate board of studies and the postgraduate faculty councils took the decision on the mode of examinations during their meetings on Friday.
“Chairpersons of the undergraduate boards of studies and members of the postgraduate faculty councils today recommended offline examinations. A meeting will be conducted with the principals of the affiliated colleges on May 27 for their views. All these recommendations and views would be placed before the syndicate (CU’s highest decision-making body) on June 3 for the final consideration and decision,” CU vice-chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee said in a text message.
Last week, the education department had advised the vice-chancellors of the state universities to decide the mode of examination “considering the present situation”.
A CU official said placing the recommendations before the principals and getting those endorsed by the syndicate was a “ mere formality”.
The principals were waiting for the recommendations of Calcutta University, as universities like West Bengal State University, Barasat, Kalyani University, Vidyasagar University decided to hold the exams online, apparently under pressure from the students’ unions.
The students’ unions insisted that since the education department in its April 27 advised the universities to explore the possibility of holding online classes along with other options from May 2 following the heat wave-like conditions, exams be held online.
“The education department suggested online classes or going into summer recess or taking suitable measures. Many colleges affiliated to CU continued with offline classes as the weather condition improved from late April. So, the undergraduate board of studies recommended that there was no need to hold the exams online,” said a CU official.
The principal of a college in north Kolkata said they were relieved to know the decision. “Online exams don’t ensure any transparent invigilation....”
The West Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association (WBCUTA) wrote to education minister Bratya Basu on Wednesday demanding offline exams because online tests do not have invigilation and, they alleged, lack transparency.
Another principal said it took them a lot of effort to rid the students of the habit of attending online classes and writing online exams after the campuses reopened in February following a dip in cases.