As many as 70 members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the students wing of Congress party, protested in front of the Christ University (deemed to be) opposing the varsity's decision to go ahead with online examinations for non-final year students, a leader of the outfit said on Monday.
"According to the guidelines of the state government and the University Grants Commission (UGC), examinations should be conducted only for final year students but Christ University is asking all the students to attend online examinations," Karnataka NSUI vice president Jayander Shahi said.
He has also alleged that the university has collected Rs 500 as examination fee from some 10,000 students.
According to Jayander, most of the students are not keen on appearing for the exams and have approached NSUI to help them as they fear action from the varsity.
"The students are very scared to directly participate in the protest, so they are anonymously tweeting and protesting online. Even with NSUI, they are not sharing their names," said Jayander.
Following the protest, as many as 16 NSUI members have been arrested.
However, Christ University issued a statement saying media reports and social media discussions are not well informed.
"Having completed the instruction for all the semester-based courses, the university had begun examinations from March 14. However, since Covid cases were increasing in Bengaluru, the university had notified the postponement of its examination," said the varsity's registrar Anil Joseph Pinto.
According to Pinto, the university, in an effort to support the final year students to honour their job placement offers, had scheduled end semester examinations for final year students from May 26 in online mode.
"The online examination was conducted on robust third-party platform which allowed the students to take the examinations from the safety of their homes while ensuring the integrity and transparency," he said, highlighting that other flexibilities were also given to students.
However, he said the varsity had commenced classes for non-final year intermediate semester students, in order not to lose out on cumulative learning and course instruction for their succeeding semesters in May and the first week of June.
"Based on the encouraging feedback of the online examinations conducted for the final year students, the university announced the online end semester examination on May 16 and notified them on June 20 to be conducted from July 13," said Pinto.
However, the official said a few students had sent emails asking for cancellation of the examinations based on the state government's July 10 order which asked the state public and private universities to promote intermediate semester students based on their earlier performance.
But the university claimed that order would not be applied to it as it is still a deemed to be university and is guided by the UGC regulations.
"The institution being a deemed to be university is guided by UGC regulations and the said order applied to state public and private universities only," said the official.