Amid fears of students boycotting end semester examinations, the administration of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has come up with a unique, yet a bizarre way, to conduct exams through WhatsApp and email.
Speaking to Inc42, JNU students have confirmed that the university is planning to conduct end semester examinations via WhatsApp and email. However, the students aren’t much positive about the recent move of JNU.
The decision of the university has come on the heels of the ongoing protests against the recent fee hike, which students have to pay from the upcoming semester.
Citing that the administration does not respect the value of education and evaluation, Dionysus Joseph, a current student of the university, said that JNU administration has taken such a step as it failed to entertain dialogue with the students over fee hike protests.
“Many of our parents were shocked to hear that JNU is going for WhatsApp mode of examination as they would have never expected such a move from a prestigious institution like JNU,” Joseph added.
Another student, who is currently pursuing M.Phill from the Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, said that the current situation at the JNU Campus is comic and tragic at the same time. “JNU administration has made a mockery out of an esteemed central university by introducing examination online through WhatsApp and email,” he added.
The student further added that the decision of the university indicates that it has no concern for maintaining the quality of higher education. “The vice-chancellor of the university must take responsibility for this crisis and should approach students and teacher community,” he urged.
How JNU Plans To Conduct Exams
In a letter, Aswini K Mohapatra, dean of the School of International Studies (SIS), JNU, said that the decision was taken “in view of the extraordinary situation” on campus. The decision was taken after a meeting with deans of other JNU institutes, chairpersons of Special Centres and the vice-chancellor.
Mohapatra, in his letter, wrote that there was a consensus in the meeting held on December 16. The meeting concluded with the decision that an alternate mode of the test in the end semester examination for MPhil/PhD and MA programme would be used.
The administration will send question papers to students registered for the courses by the course teachers for MPhil and MA programmes. Centre chairpersons are given with the authority to prepare the examination schedule as per the requirement of the institute. “Students are requested to submit the answer scripts to the respective course teachers for evaluation,” Mohapatra added in his letter.
In this one of a kind examinations, students are given the freedom to submit the answer scripts either through email or images of hand-written scripts through WhatsApp or personally to course teachers.
The JNU administration has set the last date for submission of answer scripts on December 21, however, Mohapatra, in his letter, said that those who fail to return exam scripts within the deadline might get an additional day for submitting them.
Though conducting exams in such a manner surely raises concerns on the transparency of the examinations, Mohapatra said that in the given circumstances, there’s no other way. “I am only concerned about the future of students,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express (IE).