Students of Christ University have been asking for the online semester examinations to be cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSUI stages protest outside Christ University against online examinations
news Education Monday, July 13, 2020 - 13:26

Activists of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) held a protest outside Christ University in Bengaluru on Monday against the University's decision to hold the semester-end examinations online for all students except those in their final years.

Activists of NSUI staged a sit-in protest at the entrance of the Christ University campus in Bengaluru calling for the scheduled examinations to be stopped immediately. The activists wore masks and held placards which read “Stop exams, save students.” This even as online examinations were underway at the University.

Police officials reached the spot after the protest began on Monday morning. The activists were detained and released later. 

"We were told by the police that there will be a conversation between us and Christ University Vice-Chancellor Father Abraham after the lockdown is lifted in Bengaluru next week. But the examinations have begun this morning and there is one scheduled at 3 pm. We are firmly with the students who wish to boycott the exams and are prepared to go on a strike until the university complies with the government's decision," Manish, an NSUI spokesperson told TNM.

NSUI is the student wing of the Indian National Congress.

A section of students at the University had written to the staff asking for the examinations to be cancelled. The students in their representations cited a decision by the Karnataka government to promote intermediate semester students without examinations for the academic year 2019-20. The decision applied to students pursuing degree and post-graduation courses, including engineering, and diploma courses in state-run universities managed by the Department of Higher Education.

Christ (Deemed to be University) officials stated that the decision did not apply to their university since they were not run by the state government. "CHRIST (Deemed to be University) is guided by the UGC Regulations and Guidelines and as such the examinations scheduled from 13 July 2020 as per the decision of the University in accordance with the UGC Guidelines will be conducted as per the schedule announced," the University said in a statement to the students.

Speaking to TNM, a number of Christ University students cited internet connectivity issues and a lack of study materials in their requests to postpone or defer the examinations.

Students also said that the University has charged them Rs 500 extra aside from the examination fees already paid by them to install the new server for online exams. 

Students claimed that a majority of them were against the exam and that they should be graded based on internal marks. On Sunday, University Vice-Chancellor Father Abraham had told TNM that 94.47% students had registered to appear for the online exams when the decision was announced in June. He added that a re-test will be held for those who face connectivity issues or for those who miss the examination.

Read: Bengaluru Christ University students protest decision to hold online examinations