A letter written by the All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) has sparked confusion on the conduct of the university’s examinations.
While the ‘advisory’ recommended online examinations in light of the COVID-19 situation, the university is going ahead with the pending odd-semester examinations that began in the offline mode on July 9.
Acting on a letter by Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, to the Union Education Minister, the AICTE exhorted the KTU to revoke its decision to conduct offline examinations and explore an alternative option “owing to the COVID crisis and its severity in Kerala”.
‘Objection of students’
The statutory body observed that many BTech students had objected to the conduct of offline examinations. Many students were yet to be vaccinated and for quite a few, the prospect of reaching examination centres from containment zones was difficult.
The AICTE It felt that it would be “an injustice to subject the students to offline examinations”, since the State faced an extraordinary threat through the second COVID-19 wave and its test positivity rate was yet to fall below 5%.
The letter also highlighted the woes of students from Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh (admitted under the Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme) who have been unable to reach the State to attend the exams. They should be provided the alternatives of taking their examinations online or appearing for offline examinations at a later stage, it was proposed.
Vice Chancellor clarifies
With the letter issued on July 8 surfacing on Monday, the KTU soon clarified that undergraduate and postgraduate examinations will continue as per schedule.
KTU Vice Chancellor M.S. Rajasree said examinations were being held in offline mode like many universities in the State and other parts of the country under stringent COVID-19 norms. Students unable to attend the examinations may appear for a special examination that will be considered their first regular attempt, she said.
University officials said that postponement of the examinations could disrupt the academic calender that could jeopardise the prospects of students.