Tussle between Students and Administration at SLS Hyderabad [Update: College Clarifies Position After This Post]

We had reported earlier about the problems at SLS Noida. However, problems much worse plague SLS Hyderabad. While Noida has agreed to Special Exams for students, SLS Hyderabad hasn’t even agreed to that. All students who are not able to appear for the exam will have to take a backlog. Previously, the college wasn’t ready to extend submissions for internals as the second wave hit India.

We spoke to multiple students, who told us their story and sent emails and messages, under the promise of anonymity.

The Issue

The exams at SLS Hyderabad are to start in the first week of June. It would be a proctored mode exam. The students have expressed concerns about the pattern of exams, saying it is very difficult to take such a strenuous exam online, in the middle of the pandemic.

Earlier the students had asked for suspension of exams, but looking at the college’s conduct, they are now asking that even if exams have to be held it has must be relaxed in some manner- change the pattern, mode etc.

“We have asked them to allow us to write the exam offline and submit it, if nothing. But they haven’t agreed,” one student told us.

The college has told the students that the people who are facing troubles due to COVID can appear for the repeats. But students have been troubled by this. “Backlog exams are for people who have failed the exam. It also costs 500-1000 rs. per paper, if you want to sit for it,” the students informed us. “The college hasn’t clarified on these issues.”

The backlog exams are held in October, which also means that students who are looking for placements or further studies would face problems, the students tell us.

The college’s justification is that the teachers have already prepared the questions and the money for the online software which will conduct exams has been paid.

Thus, there are students, currently COVID positive, who are planning to sit for the exams.

Conversation after an open house with the batch representatives

 

Previously- No Extension for Internals in April-May

The college has also earlier been extensions. Recently, for the internal submissions which happened in April-May, multiple students applied for extensions, but the college either didn’t give them an extension initially, or a mere token of 2-3 days.

Their stance was that the students had a month to complete these assignments and should have planned better.

Email from the Examination Department to students

“Agreed, that we got a month,” one student told us. “However, everyone knows that the last few days are crucial, and no one can plan for something like COVID.”

Some distressing facts came out when we spoke to students. The college granted a three-day extension when a student’s mother passed away.

After that, the students protested saying they would boycott classes. Then the college extended their submissions by ten days, allowing for submissions in May. However, the college didn’t allow for submissions after that, even for students who had COVID.

Response from the college to a COVID positive student

“In one open house, one faculty member commented that why is it only during project submissions that your grandparents pass away,” one student told us.

Conversation during an open house

 

Other Concerns- Syllabus, Reading Material

Apart from holding exams, the students also raised concerns about the syllabus not being complete and the reading material not being provided till now.

 

 

Whatsapp conversation between students on syllabus for subjects.

 

There is an environment of uncertainty, in such a situation if universities do not listen then it would be difficult for students. We hope colleges take notice of these issues and act.

We reached out to the administration at SLS Hyderabad but received no response. We will update this story when they respond.

Update [May 21, 6.30 PM]: As informed by students, we’ve updated the article about the college extending submissions once after the students protested.

Update [May 21, 11.30 PM]: After we put out the story, the college seems to have taken notice.  They sent an email to the students at around 9 PM on May 21, today. The screenshot is below:

Screenshot of an email sent to the student body on May 21, around 9 PM

Even this update doesn’t solve all issues, since it relies heavily on evidence–medical, from service provider etc., and doesn’t clarify about family members suffering from COVID. Also, proof from the service provider is unheard of and it doesn’t account for software or other such issues. For medical evidence, it is difficult given the mental health issue faced by many and the lack of infrastructure for it.

Nonetheless, this is a step forward. We hope that colleges unconditionally accept students wanting to defer exams, in these times, and provide for a non-strenuous mode for those taking it right now.

Note: SLS Hyderabad is advertising on Lawctopus. Our editorial team maintains an arm’s length relationship with our advertisers.

If you wish to write or share a story with us, get in touch at umang.poddar@lawctopus.com.

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