CHENNAI: In a big leap towards bringing a change in examination pattern, the prestigious PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore has introduced ‘open book examination’ system for undergraduate courses. On a trial basis, this is for internal assessment alone for BE courses.
With this, the college has joined the elite group of institutions that have adopted this emerging method, although few IITs and NITs were able to successfully implement this on a limited scale. This comes at a time, when serious concerns are raised over quality of engineering graduates being produced year after year and the level of unemployability.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of an event at IIT-Madras on Wednesday, PSG College principal Dr R Rudramoorthy, also chairman (South) of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), said “Out of 100 marks, we are trying the open book system only for 10 marks of internal assessment. The idea is to ensure students acquire knowledge rather than memorising the subject.”
“It is being tried out for all subjects during the entire course period of four years. Out of 100 marks, examination for 50 marks will be conducted in the conventional system. Only 10 marks out of the remaining half is being experimented with,” he explained. Students would be free to make use of their study material to solve the question paper, he said.
For open book system to be successfully implemented, he suggested that all educational institutions should be made autonomous. In a centralised system like that of Anna University, having hundreds of affiliated colleges, it is practically impossible to monitor and evaluate the open book system. Hence, education system should be decentralised. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and University Grants Commission (UGC) are taking pro-active steps, he said.
When contacted, Prof K Ramamurthy, Dean, Academics, IIT Madras, said the institution was doing this at an experimental level and it all depended on the individual department. The Class Committee of a department gives approval and it could be partially open or closed book.
A faculty member at Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, said open book option is allowed even during main examination. “For instance, a question like design an air pollution control system for a thermal power plant, students can refer many books and come out with a right design.”