Last week, reports of Sushant Rohilla, a fourth year law student from IP-Amity committed suicide for being debarred from giving his exams over short attendance. The student had an attendance of 43% where the required amount of attendance was 75%. Then where was the University’s fault?
IP-Amity has been known to allow students with attendance starting from 50% to sit for examinations. “Our college has strict attendance rules, yes, but they do bend them at times. Just last year, a girl had to participate in the Ms. India competition and faced no attendance issues at all,” said a source on the promise of anonymity.
It has been widely reported that Sushant was a good student academically and was an excellent debater. He had won several moot courts and was even the convener of the debating society of the college, who won many laurels for the college and even when he had a fractured leg, was fetching sponsorships for the college. The college did not accept his medical application, informed Sushant about debarring him only a few days before exams began and paid no heed to his requests and pleas.
On speaking to a couple of students from the college, we got to know about Sushant’s personal relations with the teacher, which came into play in this case. The teacher let her personal bias get in the way of allowing Sushant to sit for his exams or accepting his medical application. The alumnus of the college along with the current batches have also formed a close group on Facebook, where many pass out students have shared personal accounts of facing back handed harassment by the authorities over attendance issues.
In most colleges, ECA regulations are in place; which allow students to participate in extra curricular activities without the sword of attendance hanging over their heads. It is the prime purpose of a university to impart education and wisdom in students and not stress. The need of our universities to change existing regulations seems dire in the light of mass protests.
It has also brought to fore and compelled us to think about the kind of society that we live in, where repeating a year in college, or failing in academics is condemned to be the worst possible thing to happen to a person. In a recent development, the teachers in question have resigned after facing severe backlash by the students of the college.