Calicut varsity’s move to distribute UG exam question papers online flayed

Calicut University’s move to send question papers online to affiliated colleges for undergraduate (UG) exams has evoked a critical response from teachers and academics.

Some of the teachers claimed that most of the affiliated colleges do not have facilities to take printed copies of the question papers in large numbers. Most of the printers are too slow in dispensing with copies. More costly printers would have to be bought. It is still not clear who would bear the cost for all these.

Added to this is the chance of power failures during the process. They claimed that the online distribution of question papers for postgraduate (PG) courses earlier had miserably failed. Every day, the exams started very late and ended late.

Now, all colleges have more number of UG courses and thousands more would be writing the exams every day as there would be regular students, those under the distance education scheme, and students appearing for supplementary exams. The teachers are also concerned about losing the secrecy of the process when a large number of copies are taken simultaneously from different printers.

Functionaries of the Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association, a pro-Congress organisation, in a letter to the Vice Chancellor, said that downloading question papers just one-and-a-half-hours before the beginning of the exam, taking copies and then arranging them for distribution among students would take a long time. It would invariably delay the exams. Network failures would also pose problems, they said.

.Lakshmi R. Chandran, Senate member, in another letter to the VC said that colleges in rural areas were facing lack of technical facilities. It would put the college authorities under pressure. She alleged that no discussions had been held ahead of the move to make question paper distribution online. It would also put the financial burden of holding the exams on affiliated colleges. Ms. Chandran suggested that the online system could be implemented in the future once the colleges are equipped with enough technical facilities and funds are allocated.

It will ensure timely conduct of exams, says official

G. Rijulal, chairperson, Calicut University Syndicate Standing Committee on Exams, said on Thursday that online distribution of question papers for undergraduate exams would help streamline their conduct and ensure the announcement of results on time.

It would also ensure that students don’t lose out on academic and job fronts. Mr. Rijulal said that printing centres outside Kerala had informed that it would be difficult to print question papers and distribute them on time. About one-and-a-half months would be required to print the question paper for one subject. Because of the pandemic restrictions, delivery of parcels from outside the State to five districts under the university would be difficult.

He claimed that the PG exams could be held successfully after question papers were distributed online. Around 100 teachers in colleges had been trained and exam superintendents had been given user IDs and passwords. Mr. Rijulal said that either the college principal or chief superintendent can download the papers with watermarks from the college portal. There are security features to avoid leakage. The university had instructed colleges to buy high-speed printers earlier itself. A similar system had been already implemented in APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University and Mahatma Gandhi University, he added.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 5:04:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/calicut-varsitys-move-to-distribute-ug-exam-question-papers-online-flayed/article38298161.ece