The University Grant Commission (UGC) has proposed to conduct on-demand exams for students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs. Staring from open and distance education, this will gradually be open to all. With this, students will get the facility of taking the exam whenever they are prepared.
A panel of experts set up by UGC and chaired by Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Vice-Chancellor M.M Salunkhe proposed this idea of on-demand exams. With this, they aim to increase the country’s Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education from 26% to 40% by 2024.
The panel believes that on-demand exams will reduce the number of failures and malpractices during the examination. The idea was built around the fact that not many students graduating from college are able to bag jobs.
Hence, the panel had thought of a system that focuses on learning outcomes, skills and knowledge more than marks. On-demand exam facility makes a more flexible framework than what currently exists.
The proposed on-demand exam facility will have no age limit for candidates to get registered for the exam, as stated by the panel. The study material, syllabus and a large set of question banks for such exams will be easily made available to the enrolled students under the aegis of the higher education regulator.
Mixed response on the introduction of on-demand exams
While UGC and the government feel that such a system will be beneficial for students, people have mixed responses to its introduction. While some believe it is a good idea, to begin with, others say that it will be difficult to implement.
However, with NIOS being one of the most successful open schooling platforms with on-demand exams and competitive exams like GMAT running on the same idea, it won’t be as difficult as it seems.
The reason why UGC wants to begin with open and distance education mode is that they are the best-suited options for starters.
NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) which is functional at present with on-demand exams facility is only for secondary and higher secondary students. This new idea proposed by the panel will be a national platform for students enrolled in undergraduate programs.