University exams


University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested the current government to introduce on-demand examinations at the undergraduate level to reduce failures and malpractices that happen during scheduled exams. UGC also wants to ensure that the decision to appear for the exam comes from the students and not the institution.

The University Grants Commission (UGC)  panel has suggested that on-demand examinations be introduced for students at the undergraduate level. UGC has proposed for a National Board to conduct examinations emphasising on “exams should be held when the learner is ready” and urged the current Modi government to introduce the initiative.

This proposal would be a reform by the UGC panel on evaluation. The proposal would reorganise and rearrange matters that relate to examinations which were set up in May 2018 in a committee that was chaired by Vice Chancellor, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), Pune, M.M. Salunkhe.

According to the report submitted by UGC last week, the UGC panel stated, “Assessment can take place when the learners consider themselves ready to appear. Thus readiness depends on the learner and not institutions.” The panel also added that this initiative would lead to a reduction in failures and also malpractices that occur during scheduled examinations.

The plan suggested an extensive use of automation and technology, with question papers being drawn from a question bank. The Board suggested that the on-demand exams should first begin for distance mode programmes and then be implemented to all other eligible programmes without any age or eligibility restrictions.

UGC also recommended setting up of a National Board that would deal with the operation and execution of these on-demand examinations. “Uniform grading and credit transfer policies must be evolved for this to work”, said the report by the UGC panel.

This evaluation reform is based on the poor nature of University’s productivity. It also aims to change the dearth of employment that Indian graduates and postgraduates face.

Though many students welcome the idea, thinking it to be synonymous to the GMAT tests, others remain sceptical. Nidhi, second-year student, Daulat Ram College told DU Beat, “The idea is good and is definitely an attempt to show that universities and the educational committees are trying to be more student-friendly, and are finally catching up to international standards.”

She further added, “However, I don’t think universities- or least the government universities have enough resources to be able to implement these efficiently. This will ultimately lead to chaos and in the end, it will up to us students to bear the brunt of all the poor implementation.”

Teachers also echoed similar concerns about the inefficiency of the suggestion. As reported by The Print, Professor Amita Singh, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “A university is not a call centre that can work 24X7 to fulfil the demands of innumerable students. Academic preparation needs discipline, a conducive environment for students to think, discuss and debate while preparing for exams. There should also be the availability of libraries, books, coffee shops and hostels.”

However, keeping the debate of efficiency aside, it must be noted that while the UGC issued guidelines to all universities in 2015 to offer students a choice based credit system, the current reality is that there is little flexibility or choice for learners. It added that students should have the freedom to opt for courses beyond their core specialisations.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Shreya Juyal

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College changes a lot of things and it also understandably changes the way you take exams. Come November end, an entire batch of first years will be taking University exams for the first time. Despite having given exams (a lot of them) all throughout school life, they are bound to feel a little unprepared for it. They should too. The preparation and pattern of a University exam is pretty different than that of a most school exams. From the perspective of an erstwhile under-CBSE Science student and current Economics student, here are 5 reasons how University Exams are different than school exams:

  1. Pace of the Semester and Syllabus Completion:

    Remember how in school the syllabus was finished weeks before the exams actually began? Yeah, that’s not usually true for college exams. You’ll often find teachers scrambling to finish their syllabus and asking for extra classes. You can’t blame them either, with all the activities and mass-bunks, the teachers find themselves with a lot less classes than actually allotted to them. For first years especially, the pace of the first semester will be tremendous. Expected to adjust to a lot of changes- new subjects and what not- you might find yourself face to face with them a lot more abruptly than comfortable, unlike the much more paced out school years.


  1. There’s no one book:

    For CBSE students, NCERT in Class XI and XII (and pretty much always) was The Holy Bible, The Bhagvad Gita, and every other important book you can think of. The cons (and sort of a pro) of college is that you’ll be referring to several books, all of which will be big and expensive, thus making it difficult for you to buy all of them, let alone one. Unless you’re a misinformed pseudo-intellectual like I was, you’d have embraced the photocopied relevant portions of all books (called ‘readings’). The issue with readings is that it never achieves the flow or uniformity of a book. Each author uses different symbols for different variables and asks you to refer to previous chapters for concepts which portion isn’t there from that same book, leading to a little bit of confusion. The advantage is that the same concept is explained in a number of ways and since you know the relevant books, you can look them up in the library and refer to the one which works for you the best. College exams, or any exam, at the end of the day, are about your concepts.


  1. The amount you’ll care about them:

    I don’t know about you but I took exams way more seriously in school than I do in college. Whether it’s about a change in perspective, priorities or having found things more important than academics (internships, societies, social work and others), your college life won’t revolve around your studies unless you very consciously want it to. You’ll study for exams as you should, but you will feel a difference in the motivation you have for studying. The reason for this could be anything from lack of interaction with your teachers (which served as a motivating factor for me during school) to lack of time.


With the semester exams not that far away, it’s imperative to dust off those books and sharpen pencils for a few weeks of toil, no matter how well or little you studied throughout the semester. To first years: you got this. It’s not that tough. Spend your time studying rather than freaking out about it. To us seasoned not-first years: another semester, another exam season. You’ve got this figured out now. Stick to what works, change what doesn’t. See you on the other side!

Featured Image: vox.com


Shubham Kaushik

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