Students body seeks government intervention against Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College exam rules

The Puducherry Union Territory Students’ Federation has sought the intervention of the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister in issuing directions to the management of Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College (SMVEC) to withdraw the “irregular” conditions it set for students to take the semester examinations online.

In a memorandum, with copies marked to the Chief Secretary and other officials, the federation stated that while the government had been considerate in heeding the COVID-related concerns of students and permitted the online mode for exams, the SMVEC had set additional stipulations that were not only ultra vires of powers of an autonomous institution, but also compromised the safety of the students.

C.S. Saminathan, president of the federation, and Tr. Gayathri Srikanth, founder, Iraivi Kuzumam, pointed out that though the stipulations set by the university for the online mode were simple and did not even require full-time connectivity, the SMVEC management had issued orders directing students to give an undertaking to install an app, and submit that he/she be monitored throughout.

Students are being insisted upon to mobilise laptops/desktops with a camera, microphone, uninterrupted internet — broadband or 4G hotspot — and over three hours of back-up power.

Non-existent powers

“Though the SMVEC is an autonomous college, the principal cannot arrogate themselves against students’ rights and welfare during the pandemic, with non-existent powers, and add more conditions to those stipulated by the UGC or those that are at variance with the AICTE guidelines or notifications,” the memorandum read.

Compelling students to arrange next-to-impossible infrastructure at such short notice was tantamount to denying many the opportunity to take the examination and a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, the federation said.

Other unauthorised conditions set by the college include stipulating that the student take the examination in a secluded room, which was impossible for students living in small apartments or hostels, and precluding any claim for re-valuation or special examination in the event of any obstacle in taking the online proctored exam.

The student federation urged authorities to direct the college to withdraw the stipulations that were against the welfare of students during the pandemic.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:54:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/students-body-seeks-government-intervention-against-sri-manakula-vinayagar-engineering-college-exam-rules/article35551343.ece

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