In a meeting of the Standing Committee of Academic Council of the Assam University held on July 9, it was decided and duly notified that the offline examinations for TDC (non-CBCS) odd semester examination stood cancelled due to the Covid situation in the region. This came as a relief for a lot of students from the non-CBCS course who had been waiting for a while for some clarity on whether their pending exams would be conducted and how their marks for the same would be assessed. In fact, some hundred students from various colleges affiliated to the Assam University had even filed a writ petition at the Gauhati High Court in this regard. Just a few days after the petition was filed, Assam University made the announcement about the cancellation of the offline examination for the non-CBCS course and added that a mode of evaluation would be decided soon.
This could have led some students to assume that no examination, in any mode or form, for the non-CBCS course would be conducted. However, very recently, some screenshots emerged that led to some confusion again. When a student reached out to the Principal of Ramakrishna Nagar College, Dr Mala Sharma asking for updates on the non-CBCS odd semester exams, the Principal informed, “Dear students, all those who have got back in non-CBCS papers, the University will provide questions and you will have to write the answers and submit it to the college authority. The date and time will be given to you later on.” As per the Principal, she had learnt this in a conversation she had with the Controller of Examinations, Assam University. Bartalipi reached out to Principal Dr Sharma who did in fact verify the aforesaid information.
Similarly, another screenshot has emerged, this time from the Principal of NC College, Badarpur, Dr Mortuja Hussain who was approached by a student with a similar query regarding the non-CBCS odd semester examination. Replying to the student, Dr Hussain said, “Non-CBCS odd sem exam cancelled. Marks will be awarded by the committee maybe on the basis of marks secured in other papers. Prepare for even sem if any.” As a matter of fact, Dr Hussain is also part of the committee entrusted with the responsibility of devising a mode of evaluation for the non-CBCS examination. Bartalipi reached out to Principal Dr Hussain to verify. The Principal while talking to Bartalipi stressed on his use of the word ‘maybe’. However, the Principal did state with confidence that exams would not be conducted and so evaluation may be done based on the student’s performance in the previous semesters’ exams for the concerned subject. The decision in this regard is for the committee to make. However, he did say that the exact mode of evaluation is still confidential as no official announcement has been made yet.
Interestingly, he also added, “One thing is for sure that exams will not be held and that marks will be decided by the committee. Basis of marks however will not be made public and will be confidentially decided by the committee.” So, the important takeaway from his statement is his strong assertion that the non-CBCS odd semester examination stood cancelled as announced by the University and would not be conducted in any mode or form whatsoever.
Bartalipi ultimately reached out to the Controller of Examination, Assam University, Dr Suprabir Dutta Roy to get a clearer picture. Dr Dutta Roy did corroborate RK Nagar College Principal’s statement. When asked if the said examination would be conducted, maybe by a different method, the Controller of Examination Dr Dutta Roy said, “A student who has failed in a certain subject cannot be given marks just like that, something should be done.” Dr Dutta Roy did however refuse to disclose any further details and said that the official announcement in this regard should be out in a day or two. He informed that the decision has already been taken and is awaiting the signature of the concerned authority.
However, the indications made by the Controller of Examination seem to contradict the NC College Principal’s assertion that examination in any mode or form would not be conducted. Both of them also happen to be part of the committee charged with the task of devising a mode of assessment for the non-CBCS examination. As such, speculations are rife as to what lies ahead for the non-CBCS students whose fate has been mired in uncertainty for a while now. The official announcement which should be out in a day or two can be expected to put this entire confusion to rest. But, if at all exams are conducted for the non-CBCS arrear papers, it can be expected that some unconventional method of examination and evaluation may be implemented. However, what is certain is that offline examinations stand cancelled as officially announced earlier.