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DU to go ahead with semester exams

DELHI: Amidst controversies regarding the semester system and allegations of non-completion of syllabi despite many colleges going the extra mile to hold extra classes, Delhi University is set to conduct the semester exams for all courses at the undergraduate level from Wednesday. More than 50,000 students are expected to take the exams.

The semester exams will start on November 23 and will end on December 7. The varsity administration is planning to declare the results by mid-January 2012. "This is a major exercise for us, and the challenges are that we have to complete the process on time and as per the notification. So far, the process has been smooth, and it has been made possible because of the cooperation of the departments, the colleges and the teachers. We are planning to complete the exams without any glitches and then declare the results within a month of the completion of the exams," said R C Sharma, dean of examinations.

The university will conduct the exams for the humanities, social science and commerce undergraduate courses under the semester system for the first time. It introduced semesters in 13 science courses in 2010. The final decision to switch to the semester system was taken on May 13, 2010, when the then vice-chancellor, Deepak Pental, introduced it without getting this provision amended by the Academic Council (AC) and the Executive Council (EC).

This legal lacuna was addressed about a year later. Practically, the semester system was implemented on the basis of a statutory provision. It was put in place following a meeting of the AC held on May 13, 2010, when the council endorsed the proposal for implementing the semesters in 12-13 science courses. Pental invoked the emergency powers to clear the 13th course for the semester system.

On February 8, 2011, while hearing a petition on the issue, Delhi high court gave the go-ahead to the varsity to conduct semester examinations in other courses too. On April 19, 2011, vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh, bypassing the AC and the EC, issued a notification stating that the prospectus of every college should clearly state that all undergraduate degree courses shall be taught in semester mode in the academic session 2011-12.

On April 25, 2011, Singh held meetings of AC and EC on the same day, and the EC for the first time endorsed the semester system, though the system was already in place in science courses for almost a year.

While students are on tenterhooks as many syllabi across courses are not yet complete. The administration, however, is confident that the system is in place for smooth conduct the examination. "We have dispatched the admit cards and the CDs to the colleges. Students can collect them from their respective colleges," said Sharma.

Teachers fear that all is not well. "It is like putting the students in a gas chamber. The papers are not balanced and students didn't get time to study. The classes will be on till Saturday, and they are expected to sit for the exams from Wednesday. The situation will get worse in the next semester as we will have to cover a year's course in just six months," said Nandita Narain, a faculty member of St Stephen's College.


Source:  The Times of India

Saturday , 19   November , 2011