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     For Q & A, PEC looks at its own teachers

Chandigarh, August 10: RELYING completely on its internal faculty for setting question papers and marking answerbooks, the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) is all set to shift the entire onus of conducting the examinations on its own teachers.

Riding high on ‘total transparency’ mantra, PEC, after becoming a deemed university, has decided to completely do away with any fictitious roll numbers allotted to the original answerbooks to maintain secrecy for awarding marks. In fact, the students would be given 30 minutes to comment in writing on their answerbooks in case they are dissatisfied with the marking scheme.

Till now, the teachers were not required to set questions and mark answer books of their own students.

Riding high on their new found ‘status’, they are delighted that the institute has now decided to bank fully upon them, rather than looking for outside faculty to test their own students. The students on the other hand, say that the new system, which is yet to be tested at PEC, may give an unusual upper hand to the faculty. ‘‘It’s for sure that the students now cannot afford to spoil their relations with the faculty if they want to score well in the academics. Since PEC has also decided to make a student repeat the entire semester if he fails in even one subject, the faculty’s role becomes more crucial,’’ remarked a second year student of PEC.

Calling the changes in the examination system in tune with what is being followed in the country’s leading engineering institutes, PEC director Dr Vijay Gupta does not believe that the new system is going to give an undue authority to the faculty to play with the students’ careers.

‘‘It is a system that is followed in all the leading engineering colleges in India and abroad. We have to rely on our own faculty since they are in the best position to judge the students according to what has been taught in the classrooms throughout the semester,’’ Gupta said.

Practical problems forced the changes, Dr Gupta said. He added that it had become a routine activity for the students to plead for grace marks after significant portions of the question papers were out of syllabus.

‘‘Being under the aegis of Panjab University in the past years, we had to give re-appear chances to the students after they failed in any subject. This practice obviously lowered the academic standards here. That is why, from this session onwards, we are completely discontinuing that practice. Once a students fails in his semester exam, he stands to lose a complete year,’’ Dr Gupta said.


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