Attendance circular from Tamil Nadu's Madurai Kamaraj University leaves students worried

Madurai Kamaraj University's newly-announced attendance prerequisite for semester examinations has left students and professors confused and worried.

Published: 27th December 2021 10:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2021 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

Madurai Kamaraj University.

Madurai Kamaraj University.

By Express News Service

MADURAI: Students of non-autonomous colleges under the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) are worried about not being allowed to appear for the November semester examination owing to attendance shortage. A recent circular issued by the Controller of Examination regarding the attendance cap has also confused the college principals.

The circular stated, "The number of total working days has been fixed as 90 days. Students who have attended the classes for 68 days or above will be permitted to appear for the semester exam without any precondition. Those who have attended the classes for 67 to 59 days will have to apply for exemption in the prescribed form with remarks of the principal for condonation of attendance along with a Rs 360 fee. Those who have attended classes for 58 to 45 days can take the exam only next time... Students who attended below 45 days of classes have to repeat the whole semester again."

This regulation is applicable to both UG and PG courses. Principals have been asked to submit the attendance report on December 29, even as the last working day is January 12.

Speaking to TNIE, a principal of one of the non-autonomous colleges said at least 50 per cent of the students might have to sit out the semester exams if the regulation is followed. "Neither the government nor the varsity had announced that attendance is mandatory for online classes. Only around 20 per cent of the students attended them. When the in-person classes resumed in September, it was conducted on a shift basis, and regular classes began only in November. No student would be able to clock 90 working days between September and January 12," he added.

S Ganesh, a student, claimed while appearing for online exams previously, the MKU had not insisted on any attendance restriction. "So, we did not bother about attendance for online classes. Now, this circular has come as a huge shock to us," he rued.

The principal of another non-autonomous college said principals could themselves decide on how to assess attendance. "Though the varsity has asked us to submit the report on December 29, the principals, while calculating the attendance, could include the classes that their students would attend till January 12. At the same time, we will not issue hall tickets to those who have very low attendance," he added.

Responding to the issue, MKU Controller of Examination (I/c) M Dharmaraj said as per the UGC's Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) norms, students require at least 75 per cent of attendance. "Those who have attendance between 65 and 75 per cent can also appear for the examination by paying a fine. Colleges can calculate the attendance percentage out of their total number of working days," he noted.

"At MKU, one online class equals two hours' attendance. Similarly, online seminars, library classes and everything will be calculated. It is purely the principal's discretion. Earlier, the university used to issue hall tickets for all students whose names were on the nominal roll. Then the principals' had to distribute the hall tickets to students based on their attendance. Those who had attendance shortage used to bother the principals to permit them also to write the exams. In order to reduce the principals' stress, the MKU is now seeking the attendance report," he added.

Speaking to TNIE, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU) Vice-Chancellor K Pitchumani said, "MSU is yet to issue a circular in this regard. Principals of our affiliated colleges have all records for online classes. Now, the number of working days has also got extended. It is completely the principals' decision on how to calculate the attendance."



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