Jadavpur University will give students facing Net connectivity problems smartphones and high-speed data packs ahead of the end-semester exams, scheduled for October, a university official said.
The move will ensure no student is left out of the exam process for want of Net connectivity, the official said.
In the third of week August, Suranjan Das, the university vice-chancellor, had requested its teachers and other employees to donate a day’s salary to help some students overcome the digital divide and attend online classes. He had requested the alumni, guardians and others to contribute so that funds could be raised to help in the process.
The university has received more than Rs 12 lakh till September 8 and the money will be used to buy smartphones and high-speed data packs, a university official said.
Arts and science students have started filling online forms from Tuesday for the exams that are likely to be held from October 1 to 10. The exams will be held because the results published in July following the state higher education department’s June 27 directive “stand cancelled” in view of an August 28 Supreme Court order.
“We will buy students smartphones and high-speed data packs with the contribution received so far. Students will be able to write the exams and attend classes as well with this support,” Pradip Ghosh, a pro vice-chancellor, said.
Ghosh is part of the 10-member committee formed on September 4 to coordinate the utilisation of the corpus “created to help students with digital devices/ connectivity”.
Another member of the committee said it was crucial that the support reached students before the start of the exams as this could help them take the tests without any worries of getting question papers and sending answer scripts on time.
As these students don’t have the facilities, the university has thought of engaging courier services to deliver question papers to their homes and collect answer scripts as well.
“But what if the courier guy fails to deliver the papers on time? If students are provided with phone and high-speed data packs, they can receive the questions and mail back the answer scripts or send them WhatsApp like any other student,” Partha Pratim Roy, the general secretary of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, said.
Roy is part of the committee.
The university’s faculty council had on Sunday decided that those with access to the Net would receive questions by email and WhatsApp and have two hours to write the answers. Answers will have to be sent back the same way.
If needed, a student can get the answer script scanned or take photographs of the answer script and mail them or send them on WhatsApp.
That’s why students will get an hour to send the answers, an official said.
Gour Krishna Pattanayak, the university’s finance official, said the university would meet on Thursday to take stock of the number of students who would need the help.
“The departments have submitted lists. We have to go through them once so that genuine people get the help. We will then start talking to companies to get phone and high-speed data packs,”he said.
Pattanayak is part of the committee.