TAMIL NADU

Repeat chance for failed engg. students

CHENNAI Sept. 6. Students of B.E/B.Tech, who failed in the last semester examinations conducted by the Anna University, will be allowed to appear again next time.

This repeat appearance will be treated as an `improvement' and only the scores obtained in the second appearance will be entered in mark-sheets. The earlier marks will be treated as cancelled, the Vice-Chancellor, E. Balagurusamy, said addressing the principals of all engineering colleges in the State here today.

Responding to their points, especially about the sudden dip in results in the last semester examinations, Prof. Balagurusamy said: "We do not want to ruin any student's life. At the same time, students should also gain the skills of self-learning, referring to more books and interacting with teachers outside the class. Students should not see failure in one examination as the end of the world. Teachers should help them gain confidence and work harder for the next attempt."

When the principals spoke about the difficulties students encountered in answering certain `tough' question papers and the difficulties in evaluation, he said a committee with the university director (Academics), R. Ramprabhu as convener would be formed immediately. It would prepare model question papers for all branches and model "answer keys" for standardised evaluation in the forthcoming semester examination. Also the university would consider granting study holidays.

From this year, the university would hold a function on October 15, birthday of the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was very much interested in technical education as also the university's work in this area. It would institute four new awards for the `Best College (academic standards)', the `Best maintained campus', the `best teacher' and the `best principal'. Five prizes would be given under each category.

Prof. Balagurusamy said the principal should be accountable for student admissions and curriculum transaction in class and ensure that the huge infrastructure and systems in each institution were better utilised. Colleges should remain open longer for more "student engagement".

Henceforth the university would address only the principals, and not any management representative, on any academic issue. However, to sort out other pending problems with the colleges, he would soon convene a meeting with management representatives.

During the interaction, the principals urged the university to form a standing committee, headed by the Vice-Chancellor headship and comprising affiliated college principals/professors, to redress academic problems faster. They also wanted the university to co-opt affiliated college teachers and principals into expert committees for curriculum improvement, syllabus framing, question paper and answer key preparation.

The Director of Technical Education, S.K. Prabhakar, and the Registrar-in-charge R. Ramprabhu and the Controller of Examinations, M. Sreenivasan, participated in the deliberations.

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