Even as schools and colleges are reopening after a break of over 10 months, the college students in Pune, Maharashtra, have an unusual demand about conducting their final semester exams. The students have demanded that the end-semester examinations should be conducted virtually or in online mode instead of the regular offline mode, the Indian Express reported. The students requiring final semester exams online are also running the campaign in favor of the online exams on social media, citing various problems with the offline mode exams. The students have highlighted infection scare, travel issues, and unequal access to online lectures as the reasons for demanding the online examinations.
Vaibhav Edge, who is one of the student representatives running the online campaign, told the Indian Express that only half of the students were able to access the online classes conducted by the colleges, and it would not be fair to ask all the students to give lengthy exams on pen and paper. Edge further said that since the access to online lectures was not equitable, the students demanded online MCQ-based question papers.
Even as the students have taken to the social media platforms demanding online virtual exams, the university and college authorities have not yet decided. Mahesh Kakade, director of examinations and evaluation at Savitribai Phule Pune University, told the Indian Express that the department has not decided on the matter so far. Kakade further said that the state higher education department has asked universities to choose the examination mode according to their convenience. He also noted that a Board of examinations meeting has been scheduled, and the university would take a decision soon.
It is pertinent to note that the state government has recently permitted the colleges to reopen and conduct physical classes after large-scale demands for the resumption of classes came from the student’s community. According to the decision announced by Uday Samant, who is the state Minister for Higher and technical education, the colleges in the state would reopen from February 15.