In the examination notice, the university has stated 35 points as guidelines and requirements for the final semester online test. According to a point, desktop/laptop with i3 or above processor with Windows OS 7 or above, in-built webcam or additional USB based webcam with mic, minimum 2 GB RAM, 1 Mbps internet bandwidth speed, power backup for at least three hours and up to date software patches in desktop/laptop is required for undertaking the online examination.
A final year student of BTech said it is difficult for a person using mobile internet to get 1 Mbps internet bandwidth speed in rural and semi-urban areas. “How many students use broadband at their home? And three hours of uninterrupted power supply during this rainy season is still questionable. Ultimately, the students need to rush to the nearest centers mentioned in the notice. Thus, the examination centers will get crowded on the examination days making it a high-risk spreading zone for the covid-19,” he added.
The notice stated that the examination will be terminated in case any student gets genuine disconnection from server due to power or internet failure and he/she is not able to login again within 15 minutes. “What is the benefit of this system by the way,” said a student.
The university said that students with lack of infrastructure can take help of local educational institutes like ITIs, polytechnic and other technical schools. “If the center doesn’t allow the student to sit for the examination due to whatsoever reason, the student is left with no other option but to wait for the opening of the educational institutions and appear for the offline examinations at his/her institution sacrificing his/her job offer(s) due to such uncertainty,” said another final year student.
Hundreds of final semester students are staying outside Odisha. “If a student doesn’t have a laptop/desktop with such specifications and can’t move to the cyber cafe due to his/her
state’s restrictions, he/she is bound to appear for the final examinations offline. This delay may cost the student dear. He/she may lose a job offer,” said a memorandum of the students sent to government authorities for a rethink over examinations.
The examination will consist 120 multiple choice questions (for full mark 70) and 150 MCQs (for full mark 100). Each MCQ will have four choices. “We are not familiar with online examinations and now the university has come up with multiple choice questions only leaving the tradition of analytical questions seeking long answers. Our students who have been acquainted with a particular type of examination for the last seven semesters will face difficulty to adopt this,” said the students.
The students alleged that the university with the help of a private company will conduct the online test between July 9 and July 29. The company has a bad reputation in other states in conducting online examinations. “We demand alternative method of evaluation instead of holding examinations. If higher education department of Odisha can hold alternative method of evaluation for final semester results of UG and PG courses, why a single university is adamant to hold the online examinations,” said a parent Minakhi Sethy from Rourkela.
BPUT vice chancellor Chita Ranjan Tripathy said the university is holding the examinations according to the direction of the state government. “We cannot hold offline examinations in this situation, so we have decided to conduct online examination. If any student miss this online test, he/she can sit for offline test after the opening of educational institutions in the state,” he added.