Srinagar The University of Kashmir on Monday constituted a high level committee to frame a policy document regarding completion of courses of study and conducting examinations through online mode to minimise loss of academics due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the simultaneous lockdown. The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor KU, Prof Talat Ahmad held in the backdrop of recent guidelines by the University Grants Commission asking varsities to evaluate students on the basis of internal assessment in order to promote them to the next level. Media In-charge KU, Dr Shahid Rasool told Kashmir Reader that a committee under the chairmanship of varsity’s Dean Academic Affairs had been constituted to frame a policy document clearly depicting the modalities for conduct of online examinations, online classes, completion of teaching of ongoing semesters, carry forward to next semester, conduct of viva voce etc. After approval of the competent authority, the policy document will be circulated among students and faculty members, Dr Shahid said. The varsity administration has tentatively scheduled the examinations of 1st-3rd semesters from different batches by the end of June once the ongoing online class work is completed for the semesters. And the recommendations for conducting the online mode of the examinations will be spelt out by the high level committee in its policy document. An official said that the committee is expected to forward the policy document within a weeks time.
The varsity administration has also constituted a separate subcommittee for Online Examination a subcommittee under the Chairmanship of Controller Examinations. The committee has been tasked to submit the recommendations about the pattern and modalities of online examinations and other requirements associated with conduct of online examinations. Besides, the Directorate of ITS&SS KU in collaboration with Director, HRDC has been asked to conduct online workshops and orientation sessions for teachers on use of different IT tools for conduct of classes and examinations. The ITS&S will also keep training videos/tutorials on the University website for self-learning. In the meantime, the Deans of respective schools have been asked to collect details of online classes delivered by the faculty members from respective Heads of Departments on weekly basis, and they will communicate the same to Dean Academic affairs. Besides, the Deans of concerned Schools will convene meeting of respective HoDs and will brief them about the decisions taken and the policy to be adopted with regard to conduct of examination, completion of syllabus and conduct of online classes. The concerned HoDs also have been asked to consult respective faculty members in this regard. For now, the internal assessment of the students has been decided to be done using online modes and the concerned officials have been asked to develop a robust mechanism to conduct online exams. At the Mondays meeting, the VC, KU said that given the circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis, the varsity administration shall try to make the best use of online and virtual teaching and learning on regular and in an organized manner. The Vice Chancellor approved the recommendations of the Deans Committee for conduct of research related activities online. These include online submission of thesis, panel of experts, and receipt of evaluation reports and conduct of final Viva -Voce. Prof Talat advised that the faculty members should devise their own mechanism to conduct online internal assessment of students including online assignments, quiz programs, MCQ tests and shortterm review-based research projects.
The students have been encouraged to do review based desertions, avoiding use of laboratories and travel in view of the prevailing lockdown. As for research scholars, they have been asked to attend the classes, wherever required, through online mode. The scholars who have completed their research work have been asked to submit the thesis to their respective Supervisors/HoDs, who will in turn seek the approval of experts for evaluation of thesis through e-mail after following due procedure. The thesis will be forwarded to respective examiners through e-mail. The viva voce of research scholars will be conduct online after completing due formalities. Besides, the Research Admission Portal has been created by the ITS&S in order to monitor and facilitate the progress of the research scholars from their registration to the award of final degree. Based on UGC recommendations 6 months extension has been granted to all the scholars whose registrations expired during the lockdown period or who could not submit their thesis. The Mondays meeting was attended by the Dean Academic Affairs, Dean Research, Dean College Development, Deans of various Schools, Registrar, Controller of Exams, Media Advisor, Director ITS&S, Special Secretary to the VC and Directors of North & South Campuses. Meanwhile, a top official at the Kashmir University told Kashmir Reader that the decision regarding undergraduate semester examinations at colleges and this years KU Entrance Test, which has been inordinately delayed due to the lockdown, will be taken separately by the Higher Education Department in consultation with the varsitys Examination wing.