BPUT makes difficult-to-meet norms for its online exams

Samrat Roy Samrat Roy
Exam Prep Master

Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) has issued a long list of requirements for its undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students to participate in the final semester of online examinations on July 9, 2020.

Students opposed the idea of online examinations and called for alternative methods of evaluation to publish results, such as the State Higher Education Department.

In the examination notice, BPUT set out 35 points as guidelines and requirements for the final semester of the online test.

Depending on the point, I3 desktop/laptop with or above Windows OS 7 processor, built-in webcam or additional USB-based mic webcam, minimum 2 GB RAM, 1Mbps internet bandwidth speed, power backup for at least three hours, and up-to - date desktop/laptop software patches are required for online testing.

BTech's final year student said it's hard for people using mobile internet to get 1 Mbps of internet bandwidth speed in rural and semi-urban areas.

"How many students use broadband at home? And three hours of uninterrupted power supply during this rainy season is still questionable.

At the end of the day, students need to rush to the nearest centers mentioned in the notice. Thus, the examination centers will be 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 if any student is actually disconnected from the server due to power or internet failure and is unable to log in again within 15 minutes. "What, by the way, is the benefit of this system," said the student.

The university said that students with a lack of infrastructure could be helped by local educational institutions such as ITIs, polytechnics and other technical schools.

"If, for whatever reason, the center does not allow the student to sit for the examination, the student is left with no other option but to wait for the opening of the educational institutions and to appear for 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 stay outside of Odisha. "If a student doesn't have a laptop/desktop with that kind of specification and can't move to a cyber cafe because of his / her needs.

State restrictions, he/she is bound to appear for the final examinations offline. This delay may cost the student dearly. He / she may lose a job offer, "said the student memoranda sent to the government authorities to rethink the examinations.

The examination will consist of 120 multiple-choice questions (for full mark 70) and 150 MCQs (for full mark 100). There will be four choices for each MCQ.

"We are not familiar with online exams, and now the university has come up with multiple choice questions, leaving only the tradition of analytical questions that seek long answers.

Our students, who have had a specific type of examination for the last seven semesters, will have difficulty adopting this, "the students said.

The students claimed that the university, with the help of a private company, would conduct an online test between July 9 – 29, 2020.

In other countries , the company has a bad reputation for conducting online examinations.

"We are asking for alternative methods of assessment rather than examinations.

If Odisha 's higher education department can hold alternative assessment methods for the final semester results of UG and PG courses, why a single university must hold online examinations, "said Rourkela 's parent, Minakhi Sethy.

BPUT Vice-Chancellor Chita Ranjan Tripathy said that the university is conducting the exams under the direction of the state government.

"We can not hold offline exams in this situation, so we decided to do an online exam. If a student misses this online test, he / she will be able to sit for an offline test after opening a state education institution, "he added.