Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bhubaneswar/Rourkela: Final year students of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) have appealed the varsity administration to cancel online examinations stating several reasons.

On June 19, Odisha government had released a notification asking the vice-chancellors of BPUT and other varsities to conduct final semester exams of all courses online. The universities were asked to conduct the exams during the first week of July and declare the results by end of July 2020.

Even as the authorities of the university are yet to announce the dates in this regard, the students have sent an open letter to the BPUT in which they have asked to cancel the online exams.

As stated in the letter, most of the students are residing in rural or remote areas of the State and they don’t own a laptop or high-speed internet connection. The students have alleged that the problems faced by them have not been taken into account while taking the decision of conducting online examinations which is the violation of right to equality.

The university administration has insisted the students having no access to internet services or facing any such issues can attend the exams in nearby exam centers or use computer facilities of several professional/technical institutes of the government ITIs, polytechnic institutes nearest to their homes as per their choice. Under such circumstances, the students have expressed their concerns that it might expose them to high risk of getting infected with Coronavirus while the university won’t take any responsibility for it.

Furthermore, students have said that open book system of examination is a ruthless decision as 99% of the students have left their books at their respective hostels while leaving for home. As specified, the students are left with only one option which is referring to the PDF files of the textbooks, which is not permissible for attending the exams.

The students have expressed their worries in the letter on how to attend the MCQ pattern of online exams as it is new for everyone. Preparing for the exams with the new pattern within such a short notice is not admissible and may affect the career of many students, they quoted in the letter.

Instead of holding the online exams, the students have demanded the varsity management to award grades after analyzing the marks secured in the previous semester. In the letter, it is also mentioned that if the university provides question papers, the students can later upload the answer sheets on the dedicated website provided by the university. The students have demanded support from the university and the administration amid the scare of COVID outbreak.

However, the university administration is yet to respond on the demands of the students.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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