ITANAGAR, Jul 18: The Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union (RGUSU), along with affiliate college unions has decided to boycott filling up of the examination application forms for all terminal semester students of the university as well as its affiliate colleges in the state.
This was decided after the RGUSU held deliberations with students, parents and students’ representatives from various affiliated colleges of RGU, such as the Government College, Doimukh; Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar; Government College, Bomdila; St Claret College, Ziro; Government Model College, Seppa; Indira Gandhi Government College, Tezu; Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat, and others.
RGU is scheduled to begin the process of online filling up of examination applications for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 25 July, which will continue till 31 July.
In a circular issued to the student community on Saturday, the RGUSU stated that it has submitted numerous representations to the RGU authority and the state government, seeking cancellation of the terminal semester examinations, so that no student is victimized due to the ongoing pandemic, without any favourable results.
“Despite all that, the RGU authority has served a timeline notice for terminal semester examination which shows that the authority is directly or indirectly supporting the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) move instead of placing the ground reality problems being faced by the students in our state to the MHRD/UGC.”
Highlighting that the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing in the state, and that the state government is enforcing and extending the lockdown period in the capital region, the RGUSU said that “it shows that the RGU authority is not at all concerned about the lives or health of students.”
It suggested that the university authorities opt for an alternative method of evaluation for terminal semesters/years by considering 80 percent marks on the basis of the aggregate percentage obtained by a candidate in previous semesters’/years’ results (last five semesters in undergraduate and the last three semesters in postgraduate), and 20 percent on internal assessment of the current semester/year, as adopted by the university.
“In case a student wants to improve their marks, they should be allowed to appear for the chosen subject in the next academic session, or by conducting special exams once the situation gets to normal,” it said.
The union also highlighted matters such as poor road communication, road blockages due to the monsoon rains, and lack of IT infrastructure and internet connection.
The RGUSU also demanded that no examination fee be charged from the intermediate students.
“Since students have no means of earning, they are the adverse sufferers in the teeth of this virulent pandemic. Therefore, we urge the RGU authority not to charge a single penny in the name of examination fees from intermediate students as they won’t be appearing for examinations as per the RGU’s official notification,” the RGUSU said.
Assuring that it would take responsibility for “any academic unprecedented knot to the students for volunteering in this boycott,” the RGUSU requested all likeminded students to extend their cooperation.
Earlier, on 16 July, the union had written to Chief Minister Pema Khandu and highlighted the difficulties faced by the students and how “it is nearly impossible to maintain social distancing and follow standard operating procedures if exams are to be conducted.”
Saying that “students are not in a position to risk their lives just for the sake of appearing in the examinations,” the RGUSU informed that “students coming from different states or districts will have to be kept under strict supervision or in quarantine centres, which is not feasible since the cases of Covid-19 are rapidly increasing in the state.”
The union also urged the RGU authority and the state government to stress more on developing a feasible teaching-learning system for the new sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than focusing solely on conducting examinations for terminal semesters.
On 6 July, the UGC had issued revised guidelines on examinations and academic calendar, in which it made terminal semesters examinations compulsory for all universities and colleges.