Published: 08th September 2020
After AICTE reprimand, Anna University decides to hold all final year exams online from September 22-29
Tamil Nadu's state-run engineering varsity said that they would also hold a mock test a week before and that they would get the necessary approvals by then
Anna University has hurriedly decided to hold exams for both UG and PG final year engineering students completely online. A notice from the Controller of Examinations that was posted on their website said that the exams would be held between September 22 and 29.
The mode of the exam will be completely online and all the questions would be in the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format. "The students can appear form their home using a laptop, smartphone, tablet or desktop having a microphone, webcam and internet," the notice read.
The notice comes after a heated week at the premier varsity. Days after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that all students in the state would be passed even if they had arrears, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) shot off a letter to Anna University's Vice-Chancellor stating that final year students couldn't be 'passed' without some form of assessment as that would be counter-intuitive.
The varsity will also hold a mock test "a week before or possibly sooner" to help students get familiar with the format and the advent of taking a test completely online. "The timetable and other details will be notified on the website shortly," it said.
Professors at the varsity are caught between a rock and a hard place because they now have the onus on not only getting the questions papers ready but also to help with the conduct of the exams in a format they're essentially experimenting with. "We have all seen what has happened with other universities that have tried this. We have lakhs of students across the state who will use this software. My feeling is that it is going to be chaotic. For us teachers, finding so many MCQs is really going to be the challenge because they often do not pose too much of a challenge for the reasonably good students," said a professor in the school of Electrical Engineering, CEG.
This will be one of the most testing periods of AU Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa's tenure at the helm, which ends in 2021. How the varsity navigates this could end up shaping his legacy in the years to come.