The Year In Review: Academic Committee

Members: Avantika Gupta (Convenor), Amrutanshu Dash (Co-Convenor), Savy, Vaishali Singh, Nishkarsh Jakhar, CV Aradhana, Sanchit Saluja, Kanchan, Tishta Tandon, Arpit Agarwal.

The Academic Committee, comprising of the male and female toppers from each class respectively, has had an immensely important role to play over the course of the last year with a new Examination Policy having been enforced by the college and the confusion surrounding the same.

Popularly described as “harsh” and “student-unfriendly”, the Policy has had its fair share of critics amongst the student body, who regard the same as detrimental to the larger interests of students. It is in such a milieu that the Academic Committee emerged as a mediator between the Examination Committee and the student body.

  • Clarifications On the Policy
    A series of e-mails from the Committee ensued soon after the Policy was released last year summarizing the new rules, and clarifying doubts ranging from attendance requirements to medical leave to the re-submission of projects to the Exam Department.
  • Relaxation in Attendance Requirement
    Not satisfied with mere clarifications, the students demanded greater opposition to the allegedly unfavourable provisions of the Policy, especially the rules pertaining to attendance requirements. It was argued by the students that the stringent new rules permitting appearance for exams only on meeting the minimum requirement of 75% attendance, with attendance between 70-75% being the only concession if attendance in all other subjects was above the threshold, greatly differed from the previous rules that granted greater leeway to students who were unable to meet the requirements. The Academic Committee in this instance, was successfully able to secure the interests of those students whose attendance fell below the threshold arguing that the Rules were being applied retrospectively, mid-way through the semester, and were unfair to the students who had been managing their attendance keeping in mind the previous Rules.
  • (Very) Special Repeats
    Similarly, the Committee proved to be quite the saviour for those students who would have been held back, having failed their Repeat Exams, by organizing the Special Repeat Examinations last month. As the college awaits the results of the same, it must be mentioned that the Committee did away the requirement of having failed the repeats in three subjects to be eligible for Special Repeats, permitting all those facing prospective detention to appear for the same.
  • Time-Limit on Declaration of Mid-Terms’ Results
    Another note-worthy achievement of the Committee is its success in bringing about a deadline within which the members of the faculty have to submit the result of the Mid-Term Exams. Prior to this, students often complained of having to appear for End-Term Exams without any knowledge of their scores in the previous exams. Now, the faculty members are obliged to declare the results on time, letting the students know their requirements from the End-Terms.
  • Largely Unchallenged Policy
    However, a number of provisions of the new Policy remain unchallenged, including absurd requirements for handwritten projects. In this, the Committee has a long way to go, and would only be able to perform better if it is more interactive with the student body. The failure of its only open meeting last year, for students failing the repeats, is a case in point.
    An argument oft posed by the members of the Committee for the various complaints that remain unanswered by them, and their poor communication is that the Committee is not elected by the student body, and thus does not represent them. The writer shall however not dwell on this aspect, for it is a larger issue that is not in the hands of the Committee itself, and is a matter that requires greater consideration.
  • Discontinuation of Reading Time
    One count on which the Committee faltered (and one which was very much within its powers) is the discontinuation of reading time in exams. A provision for the same, initiated by the Committee itself, brought about welcome relief for the students. Reading time however was abruptly discontinued last semester, with no explanations given, and the same went unjustified and unopposed by the Committee.

All in all, the Committee has had its fair share of success in the previous year, and has especially championed the cause of students who could have been detained. It has attempted to resolve the series of challenges posed by the new Policy in the larger interests of the students. However, on numerous occasions, it has failed to address the most glaring anomalies in the same and in the manner in which examinations are largely conducted.  The writer sincerely hopes that the to-be appointed Committee would look into dealing with these unaddressed questions and emerge as a more interactive body.

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