KOCHI: Even before the dust has settled on the storm set off by the Cochin University of Science and Technology's (Cusat) decision to hold online exams, the varsity is heading into another turbulence.
The move to conduct intermediary examinations has triggered a protest by the fourth- and sixth-semester BTech students of the School of Engineering who have come out against the lack of adequate time for preparation.
The students have even started a #cusatexam movement on Twitter to draw the attention of varsity authorities to their plight. According to the students, they got the exam notification and the timetable as late as on July 8. "They have set July 21 as the date for the first examination," said a student, who didn't want to be named.
"I would have gladly given my name but when our parents started voicing their protest on the class WhatsApp groups against the move to hold the examinations at short notice, the teachers were more interested in knowing the names of the students rather than finding out about the issue," said a student, adding, "These are internals and we are afraid if we disclose our identity, our scores could be jeopardised."
The parent of one of the affected students pointed out that the varsity didn't conduct any online classes to complete the remaining portions when the country went into lockdown.
"The only thing they did was to give some assignments. But that didn't cover the portions," said the parent. Another parent voiced similar concerns.
"The UGC has made it clear that there is no need to conduct intermediary examinations. Only examinations for final semester students need to be conducted since the students need the scores for placements. However, thanks to the university's haste in conducting the examinations, if the students fail, their careers will be jeopardised," said the parent, adding, "Which organisation would want candidates who got through by taking the supplementary exam".
The guardian of one of the students said they are not against the examination being conducted. "The students want the examinations to be held. But definitely not at short notice. They need time to familiarise themselves with the portions that have not been covered. Also, when the lockdown was announced, the students had to move out of the hostels in quick time and hence were unable to take along all their books. They are just getting their notes sorted," according the parent.
The varsity authorities though sought to puncture the version of students with KN Madhusoodhanan, vice-chancellor, Cusat, trashing the claim that the exams had been announced at short notice.
"The accusation that the examinations are being conducted without giving adequate time to students is false. However, if they have any grievances a complaint can be lodged with the university. If there are several complaints, then the university will consider postponing the examinations," he said, adding, "In this case, a student unable to appear for the examinations on the scheduled date can appear at a later date. This examination will not be considered as supplementary examination."