The JNU administration decided to conduct the end-semester examination, in a peculiar alternative method amidst protests by the students. The student body has boycotted this alternative system adopted for conducting the examinations.
In a recent circular issued by the JNU administration, the end semester examinations are to be conducted by an alternative mode through WhatsApp and e-mail for MPhil/PhD and MA Programme citing that this step has become imperative in view of the persistent student strike, call for boycotting the examination and physical prevention of holding of such examination by the agitating students by closing down the school/centre buildings.
In a letter sent to all Centre chairpersons, School of International Studies (SIS) Dean Aswini K Mohapatra said the decision was taken “in view of the extraordinary situation” on campus, after a meeting of the Deans of Schools and Chairpersons of Special Centres with the Vice-Chancellor and other officials. It could not be confirmed if the step was being taken in all Schools.
Musaib Ul Haq, the hostel president of JNU told DU Beat that the students have rejected collectively this mode of examination. Calling it an insult to the university, its academics and its ethos, the JNU Students Union said, “Our fight was not regarding the examinations but regarding the complete rollback of fee hike and the illegal hostel manual. If the fee hike with increased room rent and service+ utility charges is implemented, a lot of students won’t be able to survive in the university. The online mode of examination initiated by the VC is an insult to the university, its academics and its ethos. This university has upheld the mantra of ‘Study and Struggle’. We shall not accept sub-standard modes of examination.”
The last day for submitting their answer scripts was 24th December 2019. However, students have rejected to accept this mode of examination and said that the circular on online examinations also violates the statutes and ordinances of the university. It also violates the press release issued by the MHRD which asked the Service and Utility Charges to be rolled back and a buffer period provided for exams. A JNU student commented, “The circular regarding the alternative way of examinations and threat of not being able to register for the next semester don’t have any legal standing. The Teachers Association met with the MHRD and they will release a statement soon.”
The Centre for Political Science faculty has unanimously rejected the online/alternative mode of examination and won’t send any question paper for the M.A., M.Phil. or PhD programmes. Students are requesting their respective chairperson and faculties to support them and reject the bizarre mode of examination.
Apart from academic loss, this mode examination does not ensure any malpractice and therefore raises questions on its validity. Conducting the examination through WhatsApp and e-Mail has not been received well by the students and teachers and further decision on this is expected soon.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat archives.