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Students Unsafe In Online Exams? Misconduct Claims At Prestigious Bengaluru Uni

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Bengaluru college online exam harassment: Students of a prestigious university in Bengaluru, Karnataka have raised alarms of misconduct during online exams. The allegations have sparked social media outrage with users demanding action in the case and better regulation by campus authorities.

Online exams began at the said university Monday morning. Soon after, a student alleged the proctor supervising them replied inappropriately to her when she queried him about submission. A purported chat of the same doing the rounds shows a message asking “Sir, can I end the exam now I have submitted the PDF?” to which the reply reads, “Another three minutes baby.”

Further, when the student approached a faculty member with her concerns, their reply as per the alleged chat was, “Nothing wrong. It’s a caring approach… take it in the right spirit.”

As an entire batch of students across India readies to sit for exams online, this particular incident from Bengaluru stirs disturbing, urgent questions: Is the online education system guaranteeing due safety and mental peace for its students?

Are educational administrations doing enough to ensure learning experiences are uncontaminated and student concerns are heard? What kind of blindspots and lapses need to be fixed for students to be free from harassment in at least their school or university campuses? And if those sanctuaries end up becoming unsafe, where must the country’s youth turn to?

See the viral chats and post here:

Bengaluru College Online Exam Harassment: After Schools, Spotlight On Campuses

A student at the Bengaluru university in question tells SheThePeople anonymously how the exam system functions. “The app we use is Mettle; the microphone and camera have to be on throughout the exam. You cannot see the proctor or what they are being able to see through the camera once you begin writing your paper. The rule asks for the student’s face, their paper, and their writing, all to be visible through the camera.”

A viral post by NSUI Karnataka highlighting the exam harassment incident states “the proctor asks the girls to bend the camera. This isn’t right and should not happen to anyone.”

Students allege similar incidents have happened in the past ever since pandemic-induced online exams began but no action has been taken.

That harassment has always existed in some form or another in educational institutions was always known, but often hushed.

The recent #MeToo watershed for schools in Tamil Nadu has uncorked years of abusive and dangerous experiences that breed on learning campuses. Teachers whose offline behaviours went unreported were brought to book for sexual and other misconduct highlighted during online classes and propped up for notice with mass social media support. Is a similar movement the need of the hour to clean up other campuses as well?

Colleges, in comparison to schools, have always been more outspoken, independent spaces where the youth is quick to resist and protest. But the online evaluation system is a different ballgame altogether.

As students navigate this space – wading through the mental toil and strain of learning away from campus in their prime university years – the onus is on authorities to ensure this process is smooth, safe and harassment-free.

Views expressed are the author’s own.