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Needs special judgment
The COVID-19 epidemic overlaps with the 2020 examination season. Despite the challenges, it is important to provide the degree required to apply for jobs. To avoid uncertainty and delay in awarding the degree, an option is to cancel the exam. Students can be evaluated on the basis of average of marks obtained in previous examinations. However, it may question the reliability of a given degree. But given the extraordinary situation currently prevailing, employers must accept it. Furthermore, in most cases, a candidate’s credibility is also assessed by some other means. If the UGC or MHRD has approved this method of awarding degrees, it is logical that employers and society accept it.
Dolly Sinha, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Patna University
Academic integrity in doubt
There is a lack of merit in protesting against students seeking to cancel the final exam against the UGC decision. Granting a higher education degree without conducting an examination will, in some form, question the educational integrity of educational institutions and students. Instead, students should discuss the nature of final examinations with the respective educational institutions that would be acceptable to both parties. If online and offline protest by students is possible then there is a test.
Behera is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore.
Must have knowledge and degree for the job
Assessment is an important part of the teaching and learning process. Currently, due to COVID-19, educational institutions are facing considerable difficulties in continuing their educational activities. However, teachers and students across the country are trying their best to cope with the situation and continue academic activities on a virtual platform. At the same time, it is also a challenge to conduct examinations in the current situation, but then universities are making all efforts to turn this challenge into an opportunity with a single objective to benefit the students of the final semester. They will need these degrees the most to make their claims in academic and professional activities along with knowledge and skills. Certainly, it is about to formulate assessment criteria for students and teachers in a completely new way, but in the given situation we all need to come out of our comfort zone.
Kaushal Kishore, Assistant Professor,
Maharaja Sayajirao Baroda University
Hard call to make
Several states have conducted final-year examinations in the UGC’s dictate, citing logistical and safety concerns in the midst of the epidemic. As a student, a degree awarded without a final exam score can put them on the backfoot in terms of professional credibility. Implementing state directives may take away some students’ opportunity. Some were working towards improving their score in the final exam to prove their ability. The cancellation of the final examinations may jeopardize the careers of such students. In a country like India, where less than 5% of desktops or laptops are at home, online exams will marginalize the significant student population, while the option of appearing in an offline exam will expose students to epidemic risk. States are a tough call to make. The system should lend its ears to the voice of the students, as it is their careers that are in danger.
Jitin Chadha, Director and Founder, Indian School of Business and Finance (ISBF)
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