IIT Madras: Exams to be Conducted Offline; Students Raising Questions Against the Decision

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Samrat Roy

Exam Prep Master

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has decided to conduct the examination in offline mode and hundreds of students have raised concerns over the decision.

IIT Madras has scheduled the examinations to be conducted from December 14 to 23, 2020, and announced that the examinations will be held at Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country which is mapped near to the students’ address.

The students of IIT Madras have raised their concerns stating that while other IITs were conducting the examination in online mode, why does IIT Madras decide to conduct the examinations in offline mode.

IIT Madras dropped a mail stating that according to the GIS mapping, the students were allotted a nearby exam center to their location. If the students wish to change the exam center they could do it before December 3, 2020 (midnight).

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IIT Madras also stated that if the students decided not to write the examination, they could do so but if they didn’t choose any option, the institute will consider it as they are fine with the exam centers allotted to them.

Most of the students at IIT Madras had received the mail on December 2 or 3, 2020 which gave them very little time to decide their plans for the examination.

The students of IIT Madras also have a huge concern because the institute did not mention or provide any assurance that the examination centers will be amid the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.

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IIT Madras Ignoring Obvious Health Risks

Online classes are being conducted for students who are currently residing in their hometown. One of the students of IIT Madras, Ram stated that the institute is not paying attention to the students’ concerns about conducting the examination in offline mode.

The Student Legislative Council (SLC) passed a resolution on November 22 after conducting a survey to which around 1,900 students have responded.

The resolution stated, “Fifty-five percent of the students have reported a daily rise of 100 to 1,000 cases within a 30km radius of their residence. Hence, choosing public transport or gathering at the exam center will be dangerous.”

About 55 percent of the students were completely dependent on public transportation to reach the exam centre, the resolution added.

IIT Madras then changed the exam center from TCS iON, which was previously announced to Kendriya Vidyalaya. It does not provide any assurance to the students and now the students need to start looking out for a way to reach the newly announced exam center.

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Lack of Responsibility and Accountability of IIT Madras

Shyam, a student of IIT Madras pursuing an undergraduate degree said that from the place he is residing, the exam center is 25 kilometers away.

“We want some responsibility and accountability from the institute. After slogging for three to four years, when we put in so much hard work to be where we are, we want the institute to take some responsibility for our safety,” Shyam stated.

Ram addressed the institute providing an option to opt-out of the examination. He stated that it is not an option because the students should write the examination after the reopening of colleges and starting regular classes.

Students will be required to write more backlog examinations along with their current semester examinations which will put more pressure on students. So providing an opt-out option is not a solution, Ram stated.

Students also point towards the National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducted the NEET 2020 and JEE 2020 examinations in offline mode and stated that it has provided assurance that proper precautions and safety precautions were taken.

But IIT Madras has not taken responsibility and has not provided such assurance yet. The students have also dropped separate mails to the institute but none of the mails have been addressed yet, Ram stated. 

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