National Student Union of India (NSUI) released a memorandum for consideration by the Student community of India, detailing grievances and recommendations.
National Student Union of India (NSUI) released a notice containing the demands and recommendations put forward through consultation by students across India facing various hardships during the lockdown. The association has been providing students relief and essentials through its program “Ladenge aur Jeetenge” during which the requests were made on the subjects of Examination, Admission & Fees, Scholarship & Fellowship, Community kitchen for students in University Hostels and Online Medium. The memorandum has been submitted to Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Professor D P Singh.
The press release stated, “The academic year has been disrupted due to the unprecedented national shutdown to curb the Corona pandemic. The NSUI has already stated that online examinations are likely to be discriminatory given the highly uneven access to infrastructure and connectivity. It is also inadvisable to conduct exams without completion of course work in physical class.
In light of this, the NSUI has the following demands:
1. All students in Year 1 and 2 should be promoted without exam. Extra classes for course work missed should be conducted after universities re-open.
2. Students in Final Year should be promoted on the basis of past performance with 10% extra marks since it’s observed that students improve their performance in final year.”
Many students from marginalised communities along with Postgraduate Researchers are facing great economic hardship to meet the economic burden of themselves and of their families. Many such students are first-generation University students along with several depending on other sources of livelihood like tutoring and part-time jobs to sustain themselves. The lockdown has dried up all sources of income for them along with their families. Hence it is requested that the Scholarship and Fellowship funding for the subsequent semester/2 months should be given in advance so that these students and their co-dependents have resources to sustain themselves during the lockdown. Scholarship funding for SC/ST/OBC and marginalised communities should be increased to provide some cushion to such families.
“The points and the ideas that the letter has suggested is something that I personally agree with. Even though, I am in a position of privilege where these regulations might not affect me as such. Being a student in DU for a year has made me realise that everyone does not have the access to the same resources, it is crazy to think about conducting online exams when there are internet shutdowns in this country and half the population cant even access the internet. I understand the need to conduct examinations but the importance of doing it in an inclusive manner must not be understated, Prabhanu Kumar Das”, a student at Kirori Mal College said.
“Several students across India are stuck in places with no access to food or messes. Hence it has been requested by multiple numbers of students that University Hostels start providing mess access to such students stuck in private accommodations. The most desirable solution would be that if University Hostel messes across India could provide packed food on demand to ensure minimum person-to-person contact along with deliveries undertaken by Student Organisations and Unions across the residencies of such students. Hence it is requested that the UGC immediately allows such Hostel mess facilities to undertake community kitchen at the earliest so that no student sleeps in hunger at such times of distress”, the memorandum stated.
It is also recommended that a medium be developed to upload lectures online on YouTube or other web hosting mediums where students can access them on a later date at their own easement since the quality of applications such as Zoom is very poor with lags and disturbances.
Nikhil Kamble, National Secretary of NSUI urged UGC into taking the recommendations in consideration while making its decision on the working of Universities post the pandemic. This should be followed by swift action.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives