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Savitribai Phule Pune University students promoted to 2nd year without exams

PUNE: First-year undergraduate students of the School of Open Learning at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) were promoted to the next year last year but they haven’t received the complete study material of the first year yet.

In fact, many students in BA and BCom courses, have not registered for the second year stating that they do not trust a university that neither gives books on time nor takes examinations.

Students said that hardly three or four lectures were conducted at the registered study centre but even the lectures ceased once the lockdown was imposed. With no books or online lectures, the students were left to fend for themselves. Some of the videos uploaded on the official website covered only a few topics in a chapter or two from their syllabus, a student said.

A student registered with the School of Open Learning said, “I am a working professional and I sought admission in 2019. There were no books, only few lectures were held initially, no online lectures during the lockdown, no update on exams or books. All we got were empty promises. Finally, they told us that we have been promoted to second year and apparently internal exams were going to be held. Nothing has been communicated to us on that front. I didn’t register for the second year because what is the point of getting a degree without even giving the exams?”

Anita Hinduja (52), another student, said, “I have grown up children and I really wanted to complete my education. So, when I heard the promises made by the university, I immediately took admission. I even attended four lectures but that was it. Later, I did not get any books or updates by the university. Even now, I only have books for 4 out of 6 subjects but there is no update on exams.”

Nitin Karmalkar, vice-chancellor of SPPU promised to hold a meeting with the head of the department on Monday and set up a committee to look into the issue. Varsity officials also hope to resolve a way out for students, who did not register for the second year because of these problems.

Karmalkar gave an assurance that he would look into the issues on priority and the academic quality of distance learning programs will be ensured. He further added that printing and distribution of study material had been adversely affected due to the lockdown. However, material for 145 out of 186 subjects has been distributed while the remaining is in the pipeline, the vice chancellor said.

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