Srinagar: MTech students at SSM College of Engineering and Technology have appealed to the Kashmir University to promote them to the next semester through internal assessment, as the varsity is promoting students of other master’s programmes.
The KU recently decided to promote postgraduate students through internal assessment rather than semester-end examinations in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. It, however, said that the UGC guidelines issued in this regard were not applicable for technical courses.
The 2018 batch MTech students at SSM College have so far appeared in only one end-semester examination – of the first semester – and the result of even that examination is still pending.
While last year’s six-month lockdown following the abrogation of Article 370 did delay their studies, the students also accuse the Kashmir University administration of being callous.
They said that after attending classes in their opening semester for almost 6 months, the Thermal Engineering course for the mechanical branch, for which admissions took place, was changed to General Mechanical Engineering.
“This sudden change in course caused us great stress and confusion but we accepted the decision of Kashmir University,” a group of MTech students wrote in a distress mail to Kashmir Reader.
The students further said that their major theory paper of 1st semester examination was held in the month of July 2019, but it took almost 9-10 months for the administration to conduct the rest of the examination.
They said that they were provisionally promoted to 2nd semester and were about to start the class work when the lockdown was imposed in first week of August last year.
In December 2019, when some normalcy returned to the valley, the practical exams of the students’ 1st semester were conducted, they said.
Before the 2nd semester’s class work started, “our whole course syllabus was changed suddenly, but we still resumed our classes in January 2020 despite the chilling winter and tried our best for completion of our syllabus,” the students have written.
The students said they appeared for their 2nd semester minor examination in March this year and were expecting that the university will hold the major exam in April 2020, but the Covid-19 lockdown has again disrupted the academic session.
They said they were presently attending online classes of 3rd semester as per the directions of administration, but were being told at the same time to prepare for previous semester exams, “which is a cause of great stress for all the students,” they said.
The aggrieved students appealed to KU authorities to promote them on the basis of internal assessment in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic as they were already running late for their degrees.
An official at KU told Kashmir Reader that the UGC guidelines regarding promotion of students on the basis of internal assessment was not applicable for technical courses and that the examinations of the MTech students will be held during the month of June.