Students of the Calcutta University on Monday staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the College Street campus demanding that semester examinations in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels be held in the online mode.
This was the second demonstration by CU students in the last three days over the issue.
Raising slogans such as “we want online tests”, around 200 students squatted in front of the main gate for around an hour, disrupting the movement of traffic.
High-powered committees of the university had last week recommended that the exams be conducted in the offline mode, but said the final decision will be taken after consultation with authorities of affiliated colleges.
“We attended physical classes for only a month-and-half in the last two years due to the pandemic. However, the examinations will cover the entire syllabus. How can one sit for offline exams after attending physical classes for less than two months?” Soumik Hazra, an undergraduate student, said.
“In online examinations, we have the freedom to take help from reference notes and get more time to write the papers. As a result of this, we will be able to score more marks,” Ritasree Banik, another student said.
The agitating students also carried placards that read “two months not enough to sit for tests on campus.”
However, both Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) and CPI(M)-affiliated Students’ Federation of India (SFI) denied the involvement of their members in the stir.
“As during the May 20 stir on the issue, some students not affiliated to TMCP took part in the demonstration today. However, we wish that the matter is resolved amicably in the interest of everyone,” TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya said.
A stir on the same issue had taken place in front of the CU campus on May 20.
SFI leader Subhajit Sarkar accused the TMC government of “playing with the future” of the students by delaying the commencement of offline classes.
“However, we are not associated with this movement,” he asserted.
A CU official said the university will make the final decision on the issue by the end of May after eliciting feedback from all stakeholders.
“Two university-constituted panels recommended offline semester exams in both UG and PG levels. But we will make the final decision only after getting the response of colleges by May 27,” she said.
Educationist Pabitra Sarkar opined that an online exam is no exam at all.
“If students are serious about learning, they should not make such unjust demands and instead concentrate on their studies,” he said.
Last week, a section of students of Rabindra Bharati University staged a demonstration demanding that the examinations are held in the online mode but the authorities refused to bow down to the demand and insisted that the pupils write their papers offline.
Jadavpur University also stated that the examinations will be held in the offline mode but Kalyani University decided to take online examinations.
Due to the pandemic, semester exams in the last two years had to be held online in different higher educational institutions, and the agitating students were demanding that the semester exams be held in a similar fashion this year also as they had not attended offline classes.