Guidelines expected soon; results to be declared by October 31.
The stage is finally set in West Bengal for the conduct of exams for Final Year undergraduate students starting October 1. The results will be declared by October 31.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), while it agreed to the exams being held in the State in October and not in September, refused to allow the 24 hours’ time that was proposed by some universities, including the University of Calcutta, to be given to students to submit their answer sheets.
“If an institution evaluates its students by giving more than 2 or 3 hours (i.e., an open test), it will be categorised as an assignment-based assessment and not as an examination,” the UGC recently wrote to the universities.
As per the revised rules in keeping with the UGC directives, each exam will be of two hours duration and students will get 30 minutes to upload their answer scripts. Students who would like to submit physical answer sheets to their respective colleges will be given an hour extra to make it to their colleges. In far-flung areas, however, this travel time will be decided by the respective principals. Students will also have the option of writing the exam in college, and in case they choose to do so, the principal will have to make arrangements.
Guidelines regarding the conduct of exams are expected to be circulated shortly among colleges by the respective universities. Many colleges, individually, have already started circulating guidelines on how to create soft copies of their answer sheets.
The conduct of exams is going to be a challenge — and is also likely to show the way — for colleges in West Bengal, many of which are yet to transition completely into online methods of teaching and assessment. But the uncertainty, as to when and how the exams were going to be conducted for Final Year students, which had been in the air even since the outbreak of COVID-19, appears to have finally ended.
Staff of various universities — West Bengal has about 30 universities, with nearly 700 colleges under them — will now be working through Durga Puja, which begins on October 22, so that they can meet the State’s deadline for declaring the results by October 31.