Students at Sharda University were denied their admit card for their examinations due to low attendance, this led to a campus wide protest of the students against the staff. Over the past week, Sharda University had disbarred around 100 students from appearing for the upcoming examinations on the provision that they had failed to fulfil the necessary criteria of 65% attendance. Under this provision, students with 50%-65% attendance will be able to appear for examinations if they sign an undertaking/bond promising that they would improve their attendance next semester. Hence, in the following semesters the necessary attendance becomes 75%.
On Saturday, around 150 students got into a fight with the security personnel while entering the campus. The university authorities called the police helpline for immediate assistance, but failed in lodging a complaint against the students. The students also say that the university had allegedly created a ‘student benefit fund’ clause to the undertaking due to which all erring students have to pay Rs.10,000-Rs.30,000. The welfare fund will receive this amount if the student fails to acquire the necessary attendance. The fund is meant to cultivate welfare within the students and the staff. Due to which, the students allege that the university management extorts them unwillingly.
Many students say that their low attendance was due to genuine problems, such as suffering from illnesses and attending to urgent and unavoidable family matters. They were also willing to show their medical prescriptions to the management, but the authorities did not agree. Even those who have 63% attendance are being asked to pay Rs.10,000 along with the undertaking. Following these events, the management said that students will be fined only if they fail to attain necessary attendance in the next semester. Late in the evening, the management decided to let erring students appear for the exams from Monday by making them sign an undertaking, without the deposit.
The issue of attendance has become a rising concern within all Universities, including the colleges in DU. Different colleges undertake different mechanisms for dealing with low attendance, due to which there is a lack of uniformity within the administration of all colleges. Some colleges are lenient with their attendance policies and do not create a fuss regarding low attendance, but certain colleges are very strict regarding their attendance policies, due to which their students are made to sign undertakings. These increasing cases of attendance mishaps across colleges and universities call for a necessary change in the system, it seems.
Photo Credits: Hindustan Times