‘We’re Being Punished For None Of Our Fault’

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WITH all humility, we the students of LL.B, 2nd Semester, Kashmir University want to draw attention of the Dean & Head, School of Law, KU, Srinagar, to the following:

We belong to the unfortunate batch of 2019 batch who till date have attended regular classes hardly for two months because of the two unforgettable developments viz abrogation of Article 370 and the Covid -19 pandemic.

The consequent lockdowns disrupted our studies very badly. We had no hand in either of the two developments, yet we are being punished for none of our fault.

This punishment comes in the form of conflicting circulars issued by the varsity every now and then. The university authorities have had no regard for its devastating impact on the students who are passing through a nightmare due to the year-long disruption in their lives and academic careers.

The student community is, in fact, a frustrated lot; some in such deep depression as may lead them to a harsh step like suicide. Should any such thing happen, the University authorities will have blood on their hands.

We are briefly putting some facts before your good self for your kind consideration:

1: That soon after the outbreak of covid 19 pandemic, the authorities closed the University in the month of March this year. Soon after, the university started online classes. The students attended these online classes inspite of the nightmarish difficulties due to suspension of high speed internet in the Valley which has not been restored till date. In fact, at times, even 2G internet was not available. So, the students of Kashmir were put to a huge disadvantage as compared to students outside the Valley.
2: That the University, vide notification No. F(PG-Exams)Acad/KU/ dated 30/05/20, shifted to online examination mode and conducted exams in the spring session online. The said notification has not been withdrawn and is, as such, still in force.

3: That on 23/09/20, the law deptt issued a circular whereby it informed the students that online exams would be conducted and that the pattern of examination would be MCQ type. The students started preparing for the exams as per this duly notified scheme.

4: That on 29 Sep.2020 examination forms was issued by the deptt which the students submitted online. However, there was an issue viz that the exam form listed only five papers instead of six and besides, the IT cell charged many students an excess fee of three hundred rupees. Both these grievances were brought to your notice through the CR and the department assured that these issues would be resolved. But, both the issues remain unresolved till date. And now the dept has issued another notice asking the students to visit the IT section to solve these issues individually. It is pertinent to mention here that we are regular students and the deptt and the university should have sorted out the issue instead asking every student to visit personally the IT cell. The dept has already issued the date sheet for exams and the students, instead of preparing for exams, are being forced to pursue other issues.

5: That vide circular dated 20/10/20 all the intermediate law students of KU and affiliated colleges were provisionally promoted to the next semester as per BCI guidelines and the end semester exams were deferred till the physical opening of university and return of normalcy while examination of intermediate semesters were put in abeyance.

6: That on 27 October 2020, a time table for new semesters was issued and online classes were started and up to 15 December students attended the classes of the semesters they were provisionally promoted to. The students thus cooperated with the deptt. in every manner.

7: That after learning about the deptt’s intention to conduct the exams, the students through CR & Dy. CR on 11th &13th December submitted two written representations , requesting for sufficient time for preparation as we were busy having online classes for the next semester and had not completed the second semester syllabus . We humbly submitted before the deptt to conduct our exams in February as it is very difficult to sit for exams in the severe cold of chilikalan which lasts till the last day of January. The deptt. assured that our representation would be taken into consideration before any decision about the exams.

8: That, going back on its solemn assurance, the deptt. has issued the date sheet for exams and has decided hastily and in a casual manner to hold the examination from the 1st of January, thus turning a blind eye to our difficulties and ignoring our submissions. This has only added to the frustration and stress of the students.

9: That there are unambiguous directions from the UGC that whenever the university to conduct exams, it must make a comprehensive assessment of the level of preparedness and residential status of the students besides the status of covid 19 pandemic. The UGC guidelines further said that to ensure the safety and health of students, the university may consider grading of students on internal evaluation and performance in previous semesters on 50- 50 % age of marks. But our deptt. is throwing all these student friendly guidelines to the winds and is acting in a very reckless manner, thus putting its students to unnecessary hardship and stress.

10: That on 11/12/20 the University of Jammu issued a notification and date sheet for examination of BA LLB students. They are conducting an open book exam through the online mode but the KU is adamant to conduct the exams in offline mode that too in a hasty manner without giving proper preparation time to students and , instead, compelling them to take the exam in harsh winter cold.

We fail to understand why the KU cannot follow the same approach as the Jammu University and other universities across India have to mitigate the problems of students. The rest of India is enjoying 4G internet and other facilities and despite that the universities there are giving all possible benefits and relaxations to their students. In contrast, the KU is giving a step-motherly treatment to its students and they are being victimized and punished for the sins they never committed.

All the facts and circumstances are being placed before your good self for your sympathetic consideration. We do hope that your good self will revise the recently issued date sheet and give the students the adequate time for preparation and conduct the exams in month of February with sufficient relaxations.

We especially request for a topic-based examination which is warranted by the situation obtaining for the past one year and more.

Such a relaxation will be a huge relief to the students who are under stress and in great pain. We will be ever grateful to you for acceding to our genuine request.

Thank You.

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