Academic Evaluation is necessary for the future of students

A note from the core committee

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the primary goal of the higher academic institutions is to safeguard the health and well-being of the students. At the same time, the institutions should also ensure that the future career of the students should not get jeopardized in any manner. The career of the young students is not only important in itself but is also critical for the future of our nation.
Given the complex and dynamic scenario, the UGC has done a commendable job to create a balance between ensuring safety and the future career of students. The UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the universities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic provides for ample flexibility to fulfil the evaluation requirements for the students. It is widely known that under the present circumstances, the globally renowned academic institutions have adopted the online mode for their teaching and learning. However, with an understanding of the complexities of Indian society, the UGC has very rightly provided for almost every means and all possible combinations for the evaluation. In these difficult times, providing for the use of online/offline or blended method for evaluation purposes is a wise, rational and very timely decision. This step will ensure fair and equal opportunity to all category of students.
The academic evaluation by any method possible is required to maintain the credibility and acceptability of the academic degrees and credential of academic institutions. There is a great possibility that the young graduates without proper academic evaluation will face multiple problems in their future career in India and abroad. There is a greater chance of discrimination against such students. We might not be able to clearly foresee the chances of discrimination at present, but the possibility of discrimination cannot be denied. The students can even be humiliated in the job market by coining prejudiced terms like “Corona Degree”. And unfortunately, the students might face the discrimination (visible or invisible) for a long time in their career. This will not only affect the confidence of students individually but also have a potential to create a mass of disgruntled youth. And the Indian society has seen in recent times, that a set of people with ulterior motives will leave no opportunity to disrupt the social fabric and abuse the power of such youth.
The option of promoting the students on their past performances is neither viable nor credible especially when for many, even initially part of their courses, have not been evaluated. How can a past performance in one course can be an indicator for the leaning in another course? In many disciplines, the courses of one semester are totally different from the courses of previous semester. And giving grades and marks for the courses, about which no assessment is done, will not only hinder the possibility of learning about the courses for which the students are being evaluated but lead to a speculative grading. We all know that in general students, beside learning, devote their greater time and energy for the course examination. And with the goal for the preparing for the examination, the students will also be able to learn by themselves about the courses concerned.
It is very sad to note that, there are some vested interest in the academic fraternity, who are not able to rise above their petty political agendas or able to digest their exclusion in decision making and deliberately resort to disruptive and negative articulation. Even in these difficult times, they have continuously displayed their anarchical mindset. They just want to oppose anything and everything that is proposed by the statutory public bodies making it synonymous with their opposition to the government of the day. As a result, they are interested in manufacturing chaos and confusion.
We the members of JNUTF and academic fraternity stand for safeguarding the future of the students. We support the UGC Revised Guidelines and believe that it is the best possible step under the given circumstances, since it has provided all possible options for students to complete their respective courses and move on. At the same time, we also appeal to UGC and MHRD to make appropriate amendments in the guidelines to create provision of improvement examination for the terminal students.

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