Published: 16th June 2020
Pondicherry University cancels exams for final year students, but asks them to pay exam fees anyway
The central university had earlier cancelled the semester exams for first and second years owing to the prolonged lockdown caused by the COVID pandemic
Pondicherry University has made its final year students very happy and very sad all at once. A circular issued by the Controller of Examinations Prof D Lazar on June 16 stated that the exams for final semester students stood cancelled - and that they would be allowed to graduate based on their internal marks and the Continuous Internal Assessment made during the academic year. Reason to rejoice, right? Sure.
But what followed in the same notice is what perplexed the cohort of students. The notice reads, "Existing criteria and regulations are to be followed for award of internal marks and all formalities for writing exams such as registration, payment of fees and minimum attendance etc is a must for assessment within the prescribed time limit." Students were left wondering why they needed to register and pay fees for exams that were not going to be held. Colleges collect exam fees to offset the expenses incurred by arrangements, stationery and supervising teachers - most of which won't be needed at a time like this.
Which is why the Pondicherry University Students' Council is elated but still up in arms. "This is an important victory for the students as we have been demanding that the University not put the lives of students at risk by asking them to write exams at a time like this," they said in a statement.
However, the question of exam fees seems to have ruffled their protest-prone feathers. "In the absence of exams, asking got exam fees is a completely baseless demand. Moreover, in a time of crisis when people are in financial trouble, to ask for fees is extremely insensitive," the council added and asked them to revoke the fees as a step towards becoming an "empathetic" university.
Speaking to EdexLive, Parichay Yadav, President of the PUSC said that if they didn't withdraw the fee demand, protests may be around the corner, "The circular was released around 6 pm in the evening on Tuesday. The administration cancelled the final year exams which they had planned to conduct despite the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. It was not at all feasible given the crisis and it's a matter of students' safety. They had a meeting and finally decided to call off the exams. But what about the examination fees? If the exams are not taking place, what's the purpose of the fees? We have already sent our statement and emails to the admin asking them to rework the decision. We will wait until the next circular is out. If it is still not cancelled we will plan accordingly," he warned.