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While students want their eighth semester exams postponed, the higher education minister is angry, overwhelmed by a scam-riddled university

Students of the university want their eighth semester exams postponed. But the higher education minister is an angry man as he feels the university is scam-ridden. in all this drama, we wonder what is the future of students?

Students of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, have launched an online petition on change.org asking the university to postpone the eighth semester exams. The petition has received more than 9,000 supporters. Calling the examination system a mess, a student told Bangalore Mirror, that the results for the seventh semester exams conducted in December-January were expected by February end or latest by March first week. But the results came only on May 5.

The students could apply for revaluation online only from from May 19-22. Unfortunately, the revaluation results are not yet out and the exams begin on June 6. This has created tension among students across the state.

VTU also introduced a crash course for students who are a year behind, which means students who lost eligibility. The crash course students (seventh semester) will finish their exams on June 3 and will have just two days left to prepare for the eighth semester.

Reacting to the petition, Prof Sathish Annigeri, Registrar (evaluation), said “Right now, there is no decision to postpone the exams. The seventh and eighth semester revaluation results will be out on June 2. The exams will begin on June 5. The tentative time table was announced much in advance. The problem is for students who had applied for revaluation and not cleared all exams. Also, postponing the exams will cause problems for students who want to study further or secure jobs,” he said, adding it is better for students to feel the pressure now rather than at the time of applying for jobs.

Meanwhile, students’ organisation AIDSO alleged that VTU was punishing students by virtually harassing and extorting money from them. The results were supposed to be announced in March but are being announced in May. Even checking results was a nighmare as VTU servers crashed frequently. Added to this, thousands of students had their results withheld and these students are yet to know whether they have passed or failed. Rumours are that the answer scripts have been misplaced or even lost. All this delay in announcement of results and indirect coercion to pay the fee makes it more probable that VTU was deliberately failing students to fill its coffers at the expense of students. Another student body, ABVP, has called for a protest against the exam fee hike on on Wednesday.

‘We are trying to rectify the problem’

Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy was in a fix on Tuesday when he was questioned over the inordinate delay in declaration of VTU results. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, he said, “I am aware of the problem and we are in touch with the university to rectify the problem as soon as possible. The main reason for the problem is the new software which has been incorporated for making the examination process smoother.”

When asked whether he was concerned about students who were in a fix and worried about their upcoming semesters, the minister who got a bit tense, said, “I understand there has been a lot of complaints and I know there are loopholes in the university. What do I do? We are cash-strapped and do not have a single rupee to pay teacher salaries. There are no funds for anything.” The minister then got really frustrated answering various questions posed to him about the university and said, “We are on the verge of closing the university as we do not have funds and there are many lacunae which are uncontrollable. I am going to take serious action against the university after meeting officials.”

He added saying, “Not just that, the whole point which media also fails to understand is the compulsion of the university to pay Rs. 441 crore as tax. We have given it to the Centre. All our money is gone. Where do we get it from? I think everyone should know this.” “With all this, you all should know that we are going to save around 10 crore by installing this software with which we assure 100% timely declaration of results.”

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