Punjabi University Patiala which caters a large number of rural students on Thursday held a meeting with its faculty from the main campus and some colleges to discuss several modalities and challenges to be faced in the upcoming weeks.
Raising the issue on practical examination and viva of science group the faculty at the main university campus claimed that it was not feasible for them to get conducted practical and viva of the science students as 3 to 6 hours per student were required to conduct practical exam.
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A senior professor and Head of Department on anonymity said, “Three to six hours time is required for conducting of practical examination of science students in departments of Botany, Forensic Science, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Human genetics, Bio-technology and Pharmaceuticals and others. It was not feasible to get conducted the chemical experiments practically in the online mode whereas physical appearance will not be allowed during the pandemic as it may prove harmful amid a rising number of COVID cases.
Similarly, distance education department of the university is also facing a challenge in getting conducted the ‘Library-science’ exam in which the students are provided with the costlier reference books of ‘classifications’ or ‘Collins classification’ during the exam according to the protocol. “There are over 100 students enrolled with our university in the ‘Library science’ course. We will not be able to provide them the costlier books at home for their exam but we are working on these modalities”, said, Prof. Anit Gill, in-charge Distance Education Department Punjabi University who raised the issue in the meeting. She revealed TOI that last year around 12500 students in over 38 different courses were enrolled whereas this year admissions were under process till September 30 as its last date and so far over 10,000 forms reached the university despite pandemic.
Punjabi University Examination Controller Prof JS Khattar said, ” Viva will be conducted in accordance with the UGC guidelines. We are working on various modalities and held a meeting today.”
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Prof. Pushpinder Gill suggested in the meeting that instead of raising the problems the faculty members should come up with the solutions as it would become difficult to hold everything for Examination Controller. He said that a bank of emails and phones needs to be set up for the students and the faculty should be ready to work more than their working hours. He said only in BA -III there are around 73000 students in all university campus and colleges and affiliated colleges.
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Notably, Punjabi University has decided to conduct the theory examinations of final semester or classes from September 25 this year onwards while the practical examinations of these classes would be conducted by principals or Heads at their college or department level through online mode by September 19, this year.
“Many of our students in remote areas do not have proper internet access or poor network. I suggest that question papers should be uploaded on the university website for few hours on the examination day from where students can download the paper”, said another participant of the meeting.
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