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22/05/2020 8:41 pm

Despite frequent suspension of internet services, KU mulls to hold online exams

‘More than 60% students have no access to android phones, laptops’

Srinagar, May 22: In a bizarre move, authorities at Kashmir University are mulling to conduct online examinations despite frequent suspension of internet services in the valley.
Vice Chancellor Kashmir University Professor Talat Ahmad recently held a meeting with top officials including Deans of the varsity.

A source privy to the meeting told news agency KINS that some Deans opposed over holding of online examinations.

“Deans told him it is not possible to hold online examinations as there is frequent internet suspension. Internet is being suspended for days when any encounter takes place,” the official told news agency KINS.

The official said Vice-Chancellor Professor Talat Ahmad was pushing hard to conduct online examinations.

A phone conversation apparently between a student of Law Department and Professor Talat Ahmad has also gone viral where Vice Chancellor is saying some Deans were opposing holding of online examinations.

“Sir our careers are at stake. We have taken admissions for three year course in Law Department in 2016. Still we are yet to complete our degrees,” the student telling the Vice-Chancellor.

In reply the Vice Chancellor says, “I am also for the online examinations. But some Deans are opposing it. I am working on it so that examinations are held online at the earliest. I suggest you (students) to meet Deans and tell them to hold online examinations.”

Last month, University Grants Commission (UGC) had suggested varsities either to conduct online exams or wait for the lockdown to get over for pen-and-paper examinations.

A senior professor of the Kashmir University said more than 60 percent students have no access to android phones, laptops and notebooks.

“We have conducted internal assessments in various departments and found that less than 40 percent students have android phones and laptops at home. Then there are students from far-flung areas like Tangdhar, Keran, Gurez Machil where there is no internet availability,” the professor said.

The professor said it was strange KU authorities are trying hard to hold online examinations when there is frequent suspension of internet services.
“What is the need to hold examinations when we know it is not possible in Kashmir. Authorities can hold examinations when the situation improves. Till then students can be promoted in next semesters and examinations can be held later,” another professor said.

“It is even not possible for us to give online lectures to students due to slow internet speed,” he asked.

Meanwhile, class representatives of departments of the varsity have written a letter to authorities of Kashmir University demanding their mass promotion.

“That the students of batch 2018 and 2019 should be promoted to next semesters officially with immediate effect as students are not able to focus on next semesters. The students do not demand mass promotion but evaluation as per UGC protocol that are based on internal assessment and previous record only,” the letter reads, a copy of which lies with news agency KINS.

The letter says that the university should not compare both the academic and mental condition of their students with other students of the country as “we already have lost 10 months since August 5 2019”. “They have only lost three months so far and their administration has made decisions quickly. We have lost years altogether. It has come into the notice of all the students that the university has asked both the batches to fill up their examination forms by online mode.

There will be no filing up of examination till the current situation gets back to normal,” it reads.
The letter says in this economic crisis “there are students who suffer online classes just because they cannot afford the telecom charges and right now it’s impossible for them to fill up the examination forms”.

“In order to complete syllabus the respective departments are flooding the students with assignments, plus the number of online classes are more than enough and scheduled abnormally that spare no personal time for students. The authority should ask all the departments not to put extra load on students as they are having deeply disturbing experience,” it reads. (KINS)