Published: 18th December 2019
Inside JNU's biggest mass exam boycott since Emergency: Will there be a re-examination held soon?
The JNU students have been protesting the fee hike and hostel manual for 52 days now and the meetings with MHRD have also been postponed indefinitely
It has been just over a week since the end-of-semester exams at the Jawaharlal Nehru University ought to have commenced and a majority of the students have boycotted the exam. With over 90% of the eight thousand or so students on campus boycotting the exam, this is the biggest mass boycott of exams JNU has ever seen since the Emergency, said, professors and students. The administration has tried all means at their disposal to persuade them — one inventive School even gave them the option of writing their exams and WhatsApping the answer sheets to the teacher — but there haven't been many takers for their innovative gameplan.
But sources at the university confirmed that there are some students who have appeared for the examination. "Other than a very small number who were not on board since the very beginning, students have not appeared for the exam. Except for 5-10 per cent of the population, everyone is boycotting exams," said the source.
What will happen to the students who refused to appear for the exams? There will, in all probability, be a re-exam, once the situation normalises on campus, say teachers. "Since the majority of the students are not appearing for the examination the Schools will have to conduct a re-examination. There is no other way," said Dr DK Lobiyal, President of the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA). "This is the biggest mass boycott we have ever seen. It is only fair, since it is a relative grading system, that the students who are appearing for the exams now appear for the re-exam as well. But we do not have any information whether there are any students who have appeared for any of the exams, on WhatsApp or otherwise. Whatever part of the syllabus is still left the teachers will have to complete that and then reschedule the exams," he added.
The students of the engineering departments have been part of the protests but declined to boycott the examination as they felt the fee hike does not affect them directly, said sources. A source at the university said that other than the engineering students every other school is part of the boycott. "We want the exams to be rescheduled at a later date and we will also take necessary legal steps against the WhatsApp exams because it is against the ordinance of the university," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a councillor of the JNUSU and a member of student organisation BASO.