Kashmiri Students Shocked As Jamia Announces Online Exams

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Srinagar: The students from Jammu and Kashmir, who are pursuing different courses at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Friday expressed resentment against the varsity authorities for conducting online examinations.

The students from J&K said that the tentative dates have been issued for the examinations at the varsity and the students have been asked to appear in the examinations through online mode.

“We have been asked to ensure high-speed internet facility and the laptop has been made mandatory. We have also been asked to ensure uninterrupted electricity during the examinations. The students have been told that if there will be disconnection of internet services, they will be disqualified,” the students said.

Athar Arshid Lone, who is pursuing a Masters in Political Science, hails from DangiWacha area of Baramulla district said that amid a ban on high-speed internet facility, “the people are not able to open the mail here and how is it possible for them (students) to appear in the examinations.”

He said there are almost 200 students across Jammu and Kashmir, who are going to appear in the examinations at JMI.

“Our association has sent a written letter to the CEO and Vice-chancellor but they didn’t pay any heed to it,” he said, adding that the students who want the varsity should hold open book examinations like JNU and Delhi University.

“We don’t want any special favour from the varsity, but our only request is to follow the other varsities,” he said.

Sameer Ahmad, another student from north Kashmir’s Kupwara district said that the varsity has asked the students to make sure they make their own arrangements for uninterrupted power and good internet.

“We have been told that students would themselves be responsible for any lapses on this front so they are advised to make sure adequate backup is in place. How is it possible to arrange uninterrupted electricity at a time when the people across Kashmir have been witnessing frequent power cuts. Besides, there is no high-speed internet here,” he said.

Sameer said the students have been told that laptops are mandatory for the examinations and the mobile phones will not be allowed for appearing in the examinations.

“It is just highhandedness of the varsity officials, nothing else,” he said while appealing to the authorities at varsity to fulfil the demands of students from J&K.

According to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole high-speed internet facility was already available at various places.

“But still if the students have concerns in this regard, they should approach me so that I would look into the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, two major mainstream parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticized Jamia Millia Islamia for its decision to conduct on-line exams

“The announcement of the university to go for an on-line examination is incognizant of the ground realities in J&K, where 2G internet speed and frequent clampdowns on the internet service are common. The guidelines that students would be responsible for ensuring electricity and internet for the complete duration of the test and the students would be responsible for any lapses on that front, are elitist in nature defeating the inclusiveness that JMI stood for since its inception,” NC President Farooq Abdullah said.

Echoing similar views, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said that the announcement of holding online exams was problematic for students of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Jamia University’s decision to hold exams in proctored online mode which requires laptops & high speed data for 3 hours is deeply problematic for students hailing from J&K. Request them to look for alternatives so that these bright minds don’t suffer.” Mehbooba wrote on her Twitter page.

She sought intervention of Dr RP Nishank to ensure these students don’t become casualties for no fault of theirs.  (With KNO inputs)

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