PTU students protest as backlog exams are postponed for later

PTU students protest as backlog exams are postponed for later IK Gujral Punjab Technical University
Abhay Anand | Sep 16, 2020 - 1:51 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The IK Gujral Punjab Technical University has announced that final-year or final-semester students with backlog -- meaning, they are yet to clear one or more papers studied in previous terms -- will be evaluated when the “normalcy is restored and the environment is conducive”. This notice has irked the students who worry that this decision to delay will result in their losing a year.

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Bakul Gupta, a final-year student, wanted to know why the backlog exams are not being held now. He said: “The university administration should think about the future of students like us. If our exams are not held this year, our entire year will be wasted. So it's a humble request to the university to think about the backlog student's future too.”

Another student Ashish Lakhanpuria asked: “Why this discrimination against candidates who are reappearing? We are also students of this university.”

UGC Guidelines on exams

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in its July 6 guidelines said that the students of terminal semester or year but who have a backlog of papers to clear should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting examinations in offline (pen and paper), online or in blended (online and offline) mode, as per feasibility and suitability.

The IKGPTU issued the notice yesterday which states: “All concerned students are hereby informed that backlog examinations of terminal semester/Intermediate semester students shall be conducted when the normalcy is restored and the environment is conducive.”

It also stated that students will be given a 15-day notice before the start of examinations. “Decision on students having backlog shall be taken afterwards,” the notice reads.

Students are also stating that the university decision is a violation of UGC exam-related guidelines. Raj Sekhar, a final-year student, said: “As there is no clause about the exams benign held once the situation is normal, the university should conduct backlog exams along with the regular ones. Please do not make your own rules!”

However, the university has announced it will conduct the final-semester regular examination in Open Book Examination (OBE) mode from September 29. As per the announcement, 50% of the final score will be based on these exams and the remaining 50% on internal assessment.

Students argue that if the university can conduct exams for the final-year students, it should do the same for those who have a backlog, including ones who have otherwise completed their programmes. Ramsewak Singh, another final-year student, said: “We are passed out students, we have to start our career and we are already hit because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. We request the university to conduct our exams as soon as possible.”

Fellow student Jasleen Kaur pointed out that it might be a while before “normalcy” is restored as the number of COVID-19 cases is rising daily and there is no vaccine in sight yet.

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