Kerala

HC order brings relief for many

The Kerala High Court order permitting APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) to continue the ongoing examinations in offline mode has come as a relief for large sections of the academic community.

In the wake of the order, the university has decided to conduct the examinations in accordance with the schedule from Thursday onwards. The revised date of the examinations postponed on Wednesday will be announced later.

Tuesday’s single bench order to cancel the examinations appeared to push the odd-semester examinations into uncertainty after reaching the halfway stage. Notably, the minor disruption came after the BTech examinations witnessed an average attendance of around 92%, except on the day of a Statewide agitation by the Kerala Students Union, when participation was 73%.

Less than 100 students from faraway places, including Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, had expressed their inability to appear for the examinations, official sources said. They said all pandemic norms had been adhered to at the examination centres.

While the petitioners insisted on holding the examinations online in the court, several teachers expressed doubts on the efficacy of the assessment mode in the absence of online remote proctoring.

Recounting his experience during final-year examinations held recently and last year, a professor of a prominent engineering college said instances of mass copying were rife when students were permitted to take the examinations from their homes.

“Very often, several students huddled together at one of their houses to answer the questions that were sent through WhatsApp or email. While 32 students appeared for a particular paper, we found 28 answer scripts to be similar in all respects except handwriting. Such practices were against the physical distancing norms and could be more hazardous than appearing for the examinations on campuses,” he said.

Official sources said the recent final-year examinations recorded a pass percentage of 96%, an unusual increase from the average figure of nearly 46%.

The order to nullify the examinations also came as a surprise for those who clamoured for a deferral of the examinations or holding them online. A third-semester Electronics and Communications Engineering student of the LBS College of Engineering, Kasaragod, who requested anonymity, said the cancellation of the examinations conducted would have been disappointing.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:09:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-order-brings-relief-for-many/article35584785.ece

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