No final exams at some IITs JNU plans online test

With uncertainty over how and when educational institutions will reopen, many centrally run universities and engineering schools have ditched year-end exams to ensure graduating students do not lose placement offers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Indian Express reached out to five top central universities and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to find that Hyderabad Central University (HCU), IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Kanpur will evaluate its final-year students based on their performance in mid-semester examinations and other forms of continuous assessment.

Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University, IIT-Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia have decided to conduct examinations either through open book test or online assignments or hold exams on campus upon reopening.

At IIT-Delhi, final-year students have the option to graduate in June by appearing for online tests, and completing assignments and viva voce over the telephone. The other option is to graduate regularly once the institute reopens, which could take longer.

On May 27, the teachers’ body or Senate at IIT-Kharagpur passed a proposal to ditch the written semester-end exam and set up a committee to suggest alternate ways of evaluation. The committee has submitted its report, institute registrar B N Singh told The Indian Express, adding that students, in all likelihood, will be assessed through assignments, viva voce and past performance.

IIT-Kanpur has announced a special grading scheme in which students will receive grades A, B, C and S for their performance in mid-semester exams, quizzes, projects and assignments. No one will be failed or terminated.

IIT-Bombay was the first to scrap semester-end exams. The final grading will be based on the evaluation completed till mid-semester examination. Teachers can also decide to evaluate students online for a maximum weightage of 20 per cent, provided all students can opt for this. IIT-Madras did not respond to queries from The Indian Express.

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At AMU, public relations in-charge M Shafey Kidwai said that for the final-year students 70% of the evaluation will be on assignments completed throughout the year and remaining 30% would be based on a two-hour-long online exam. “For students who are not in the final semester, we will take the average of their previous semester and sessionals of this year and promote them based on that,” he said.

Initially, JNU had left the decision of whether to conduct examinations online or offline to individual centres and schools, but it later pushed for online exams for all students, regardless of whether they are intermediate or final-year students. Largely, though, the mode of exams is left to individual teachers.

Jamia’s mode of evaluation is different for final-year and intermediate students. As of now, the university plans to hold offline exams for final-year students in July, and grade intermediate students on the basis of online assignments (50%) and previous year’s marks (50%) for theory papers. Practicals and viva voce etc are to be held online. However, if the Covid-19 situation doesn’t improve, Jamia said it would accept “online assignments and online practical alternatives” even for final-year students.

DU has decided to conduct online Open Book Examinations for final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students starting from July 1.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

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