With over 28 lakh students from all over the country, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is considering to give its students the option for online examinations. One of the largest distance learning universities in India, IGNOU is in talks with the education ministry over the sanction.
The university has adopted the online admission process this year onwards and is in talks with HRD Ministry and UGC over the inclusion of online examination pattern in the university from the next academic year.
The task however would not be so easy for the university as the number of students enrolled under the university is massive. The other roadblock is the spread of the students across various part of the country. It would be tough to put so many different candidates together through one examination policy. Enlightening over huge number of students and the problems associated with it VC said, “When we look at the distance learning system in other countries of the world where universities have adopted online examination, we have to take into account that they have a small student strength of 4000- 10000. In our case the number is large and we also see that the people are spread throughout the country with different backgrounds and demographic issues. Some are housewives, some are poor, some are working, and some are located in remote areas so we have to see the feasibility.”
Telling the media that the modalities of the proposed idea is being worked out and there is yet to take any decision that whether the study centres would be the place of online examination or not. In 2010 the university had started online examination for its 27 courses on experimental basis, but as result of the objection of UGC it had been withdrawn two years later.
The Vice Chancellor further added, “We had started with 27 courses which had student strength of not more than 300, to experiment the feasibility. The response was good but later it had to be withdrawn when UGC said it doesn’t recognize the online mode of examination. Now, they (UGC) will be taken onboard to find a way out which is also recognized by the commission.”