Even though the deadline for submission of applications for excusing the shortage of attendance for students under the University of Madras will meet their end today, a few colleges in the city are yet to submit their list.
A new system of seeking the list weeks before the commencement of exam was introduced by the Controller of Examinations, which claimed that this would smoothen the process of examination. But the colleges feel that it would mock their attendance system.
As per norms each student must have an attendance of 75% during the 90-day semester to qualify to take their exams. However, the students in 65-75% range could be considered to give a waiver after they have paid Rs. 250/- per exam paper, provided they give valid reasons.
Earlier the University awaited till the last couple of days for the list of eligible students who can be excused for this semester, to be sent by the colleges. The colleges were instructed by the Office of the Controller of Examinations (OCE) to submit the list well in advance, by 10th March, 2014. The deadline was then extended to 13th March, 2014, which is the 74th day of the 90-day semester.
Filling the list early would give space for planning and make a the process of exam, efficient as per the OCE. A senior OCE official said, "Last semester we had students who had filed the waiver forms at the last minute and found they did not have question papers when they reached the exam hall. Such situations are created because there is hardly any time for proper planning."
The OCE insists that the availability of the list must be made by 13th March, 2014, before the commencement of practical exams for Science students. Comptroller of Examinations S Thiruvamannan said, "Practical exams begin on March 17 and hence the colleges can assume that the students will attend the classes from then."
The process of taking attendance will be redundant if a grace attendance for about 15 days is given, is what the colleges feel. S Babu, Principal of SCP Jain College and member of the Academic Council of the University of Madras, one of the colleges that have not yet submitted its list, questioned, "Will the students, especially from arts and commerce stream, attend classes when they are granted this attendance? What is the point of taking attendance in classes after this?"