Slogans demanding the resignation of KSLU VC, Ishwara Bhat were hurled at the protest site.
The Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) students staged a protest alongside National Student Union of India (NSUI) at Maurya Circle. Promotion to next semester, resolution of errors in results and clarity on repeaters exam were some of their demands.
Ranganath, C. Bhimsem Rao (CBR) National College of Law, Shivmongga said that KSLU is not conducting the exams as per the UGC guidelines. He said, “The exam schedule was given to us just after Diwali, 10 days before the date of the exam. We must be given one month preparatory time before announcing the examination schedule according to UGC guidelines.”
He added that the examinations were supposed to be held from October 21, which was later changed to November 19. Now the university is planning to conduct examinations from December 2 but the children are not prepared.
He said, “The online classes were inefficient and in the name of teaching just the headlines were taught,” Sharad and Ramesh R, his classmates agreed. We must be promoted to the next semester just like other degree students across the state, they said.
Roshith, Kristu Jayanti College of Law, one of the earliest arrivals at the protest site said that he came to protest the delay of his second semester exams. The colleges are helpless as universities are making decisions on their own. He said he was informed about the protest through a telegram group.
Varun, law student and an activist from St. Joseph’s College said that there were four major reasons for the protest: delay in academic year, errors in published results, delay in publishing of examination schedule and uncertainity on repeaters exam.
Mohammad Sabeel second year law student, St. Joseph’s College said that the delay in semesters has demotivated him to study. The university makes some decision and then backtracks. There is no flow to the studies, he added.
Varsha Ayyappa said that her parents contracted Covid so she couldn’t give her first semester exams. “Now even the classes for the third semester have been started and I’m expected to sit together for 20 exams,” she said.
Varun said that there are 107 law colleges under KSLU. Thousands of students are suffering while their counterparts, studying in private colleges have moved on to the next semester.
He said that the results that were published by the university are full of errors. For many students theory marks were marked as “to be announced later” (TBAL), even after two months of publishing of the results.
He said that there is no transparency between the students and the university. The university uses re-evaluation forms as a tool to make money. “Many times students are graded less by few marks just so they can fill the revaluation form — which costs Rs. 700 for a single subject. After reassessment they magically appear to have passed,” he added.
He said that the university can’t conduct examinations with such a short notice. There are students from all over India and abroad, who have to make arrangements for their boarding and lodging. “On one hand there are talks that the government is planning a lockdown in mid December while on another hand the university is planning to conduct offline examinations,” he said.
“Even our colleges have started with the next semester because they know the university is at fault. The university couldn’t conduct exams on time and now is expecting us to appear for examinations of both the semesters in a span of few months, ” he said. Students have faced a lot challenges due to the pandemic. Many in rural areas were not able to attend online classes. The university should implement the 50-50 mode of evaluation for the previous semester, he added.
The 50-50 criteria was laid down by the UGC and directed by the court. The students are evaluated out of 100 marks. Twenty marks for internal assessment and 80 marks for theory paper. The UGC guidelines states that for evaluation of current semester the university can extrapolate the internal assessment and theory marks of previous year with 50 percent importance to both.
Mohamad Afeed, State General Secretory, NSUI, said we plan to execute a peaceful protest. If the government does not agree to our demands we would go to any extent to meet the demands of the students.
Mehesh G Raj, State General Secretary, NSUI, said that they plan to conduct a silent protest from the NSUI office to the Maurya Circle. We expect to see a turn around of 150 to 200 students. After the protest we plan to visit the Governor, Law Minister and the Chief Minister and hand them our memorandum, he added.
At the protest about 100 students were gathered at the Maurya Circle. Slogans demanding the resignation of Ishwara Bhat, Vice Chancellor, KSLU were hurled.
Anil Kalgi, second year law student ,Vivekananda shouted, “3 years 3 years, 5 years 5 years” and protesters joined in unison with him. “It is our fundamental right as students that our course is completed in the stipulated time.” The government must be answerable to the final year students whose careers are at stake, he added.
Sub Inspector, incharge of security at the protest site said that they were well prepared for the protest with 50 police officers, 20 of whom were women. We also have a battalion of 20 KSRP personnels and an MT van waiting in case the protest takes a sour turn, she added. The permission for the protest has been granted till 5 p.m. After that if the premises are not cleared we would start making arrests, she said.
The KSLU in a court appeal had maintained that conducting exams is a mandatory requirement for the Bar Council India (BCI) to recognise the degrees of law students. They are bound to follow the guidelines of BCI and not UGC. The court in return had observed that Sections 9 And 10 of the KSLU Act, 2009, enabled the university to conduct examinations even if the state government had said otherwise.