The university has instructed affiliated colleges to upload students’ marks on internal tests and attendance details

From this year, students at engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University will not only have to take their attendance seriously, but will also have to perform well in internal tests.

In a circular sent to over 500 affiliated colleges, the university has instructed managements to upload monthly data of their students’ performances in internal tests as well as their attendance details.

This decision has been taken, said Anna University officials, to make sure college managements did not tamper with the attendance or internal marks of students.

“We usually insist on colleges sending us the average score of the student and her attendance details after the practical exams. However, there have been many complaints that several colleges change the internal marks of candidates to improve their college results. We want to curb this practice,” said a university official.

Most private colleges are however, unhappy with the move.

As of now, at self-financing colleges, three tests each for 100 marks are conducted during the semester.

A student’s total marks obtained in all tests are put together out of 300, proportionately reduced for 15 marks and rounded to the nearest integer. All the internals tests are for 20 marks, of which 5 marks are allotted for attendance.

The principal of a self-financing college in Kancheepuram said, “We conduct at least two re-tests for a student if she fails in the internal tests, to help her improve. Now that we have to upload the marks immediately after the tests, students will have to face immense pressure to perform and will get absolutely no time to improve.”

He also said that most private colleges insisted on 90 per cent attendance, while Anna University only asked for 75 per cent attendance. “We have attendance taken in every class and send letters to parents of regular latecomers. In the best 15 engineering colleges, there are not more than 40 students in the entire college absent on any given day,” he said.

The head of the department at another private college said move posed a concern, as most engineering colleges were already short-staffed. They would now have to employ extra persons for the task.

“Verifying and entering the marks of over 3,000 students every month, is a huge task. Our faculty already teaches for more than 16 hours a week. This additional task will be a burden. They should be asked to focus on research and interactions with students, rather than doing monotonous data-entry work,” the professor said.

Anna University officials however said the move would ensure there was a check in place in the system, and would help students focus on academics.

“Most colleges grant full marks to their students for attendance and their data generally show very few students failing in the internal tests. But the university results of these students show a different, disappointing picture. Colleges have no reason to be concerned if they have done nothing wrong,” an official said.