The demand for holding online exams is spreading as students across the institutes are putting pressure on the authorities to reverse the decision on conducting the end-semester examinations offline.
At IIEST, Shibpur, students have written to director Parthasathi Chakrabarti seeking online examination following which the authorities had called a meeting on Thursday to fix the mode of exam.
Students at NIT Durgapur staged agitation on Tuesday over a similar demand.
Metro reported on Wednesday that fourth-year engineering students of Jadavpur University have been on a sit-in for two days demanding that they be allowed to write the exams online.
At IIEST Shibpur, the authorities on February 26 posted a notice stating that classes will be held in offline mode from March 21.
“Thereafter, all examinations shall be held in offline mode,” the notice had said.
On Tuesday, the dean of academics informed the students that a meeting had been convened on Thursday to discuss the mode of end semester examination of all even semester courses and of the first semester as well.
Thursday’s meeting, attended by the director, dean (student welfare), associate dean (student welfare), deputy registrar (academic) and general secretary of the students’ senate, could not take any decision.
It was left to the IIEST senate to make a decision, an IIEST official said. The senate is likely to meet next week.
The official said the meeting had to be called because the class representatives sought a reversal of the decision.
They have cited the example of IIT Kharagpur along with problems related to finding accommodation in the hostels and difficulty of international students in arriving to the campus owing to the delayed visa in support of their demand.
On March 21, IIT Kharagpur reversed its decision to hold the end-semester exams only in the physical mode following protests from a section of students. They were given the option to write the exam either offline or online.
This newspaper reported that 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 exams online.
A letter from the department of computer science and engineering addressed to the IIEST director says: “Our neighbouring institutes like IIT Kharagpur and many NIT such as NIT Raipur are going to conduct online exams for this semester, because most of the theory part was covered in online mode…. Many hostels are in very bad condition with no renovation work done in the past 2 years.”
The decision by the IIT Kharagpur authorities has encouraged the students at IIEST, said an official. “Although our examination is partly proctored, still it is not foolproof to curb the unfair means adopted while writing the exams,” he said.
Repeated calls to IIEST director Chakrabarti unanswered.
At NIT Durgapur, over 1,500 students who are in the second-year and third year, assembled at the gate on Tuesday to protest the institute’s decision to hold the end semester examination offline.
The NIT senate in February decided that the end-semester exams of these courses would be held offline from April 18 to 23.
Classes and exams of BTech fourth-year will be held online because they are attending industrial internships.
NIT Durgapur director Anupam Basu held an open-house with the students representatives late on Tuesday.
“We are sticking to the decision. I told students that if they don’t write the offline exams they could face difficulty during recruitment,” said Basu.
At NIT students have been told that the weightage of the offline could be slightly reduced, leading to a corresponding surge in the weightage of online mid-term exams, held in March.
Convocation at St Paul’s Cathedral Mission College
Chinmoy Guha (in the picture left), scholar of French literature and professor of English at Calcutta University, delivered the convocation address at St Paul’s Cathedral Mission College on Wednesday and handed certificates to fresh postgraduates. The head of the English department at Calcutta University, Siddhartha Biswas, was present at the event. In his address, Guha reminded the students of their special responsibilities towards society in these trying times, because literature has taught them that truth is multi-layered and never monistic. A total of 85 students were conferred degrees.