The college and university teachers’ association has written to education minister Bratya Basu demanding offline exams because online tests do not have invigilation and, they alleged, lack transparency.
In the letter written on Wednesday, the association accused the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) of putting pressure on university authorities to hold the end-semester exams online.
Last week, TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya wrote to Basu demanding online exams.
Wednesday’s letter, signed by the association’s general secretary Keshab Bhattacharya, said: “Classes and examinations have been held over online platforms over the past two years ... Students have suffered because of this. The online mechanism is not transparent... The West Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association demands in unequivocal terms that offline classes and examinations would have to be started immediately in colleges and universities.”
The letter came days after Kalyani University and Vidyasagar University in Paschim Medinipur announced they would hold the end-semester exams online.
Vidyasagar University, which resumed offline classes from May 5 following an improvement in weather conditions, reversed its decision to hold in-person exams. The association alleged that the reversal was because of pressure from the students’ union.
“Vidyasagar University changed its decision following pressure from students. On Wednesday, students protested outside Rabindra Bharati University’s vice-chancellor’s office to condemn their decision to hold in-person exams. All these are outcomes of the TMCP’s letter to the minister,” Keshab Bhattacharya said.
He said the association held the education department responsible for the disruptive situation across campuses because of a notice the department issued on April 27.
The notice addressed to the vice-chancellors of the state universities had said: “Several queries have been received from different corners across the state regarding the mode of conduct of forthcoming university’s semester examinations. Considering the present situation, the competent authorities or bodies of the universities may take suitable decisions.”
Keshab Bhattacharya, who is a professor at Jadavpur University, said: “The university authorities would anyway take a decision on their own. The department’s letter encouraged students to raise the demand for online exams.”
Minister Basu did not respond to a text message from this newspaper.
TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya denied allegations of putting pressure on university authorities.
“I just presented a proposal to the education minister,” he said.