Tamil Nadu mulls online exams for all final year students

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu higher education department is considering online tests for all final year students following the Supreme Court order upholding the direction from University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct terminal semester exams.

The department on Saturday conducted a meeting with vice-chancellors of state universities to discuss conducting final year exams online. Sources said the main topics discussed were regarding duration of the exam and type of questions.

While many vice-chancellors suggested objective type questions, some wanted both objective and descriptive type questions depending on the subjects. “State universities may need a question bank to conduct online exams for all subjects. It will take time to prepare such question banks. So, it was suggested that question banks be shared across universities,” an official who took part in the meeting said.

Vice-chancellors also wanted to conduct the exams before September 30. “Schools and colleges can be used in case students have issues accessing digital devices or face connectivity issues,” the official added.

Anna University has been preparing for an online exam for the last two months. Sources said the university is ready to conduct the exam in the next two weeks. The exam is likely to be an hour long and comprise objective type questions.

Universities will likely discuss the issue with faculty members and affiliated colleges before giving suggestions to the higher education department.

On cancellation of arrear exams, vice-chancellors suggested against giving any weightage to internal marks and previous semester exams. “If weightage is given, students with arrears may score higher marks than toppers. To avoid such instances, vice-chancellors proposed to just pass these candidates,” the official said.

Once it receives suggestions, the government will issue common guidelines for online exams.

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