Kolkata: Jadavpur University has formally decided to provide android handsets and data pack to students, not having such facilities, as new semester classes are slated to begin this month, an official said on Sunday.
The JU also decided to hold final semester examination in arts and science stream in contactless digital mode from October 1 to 10.
JU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Chiranjib Bhattacharya told PTI on Sunday that those students not having smartphones and net connectivity will be provided with the handsets and data pack in arts, science and engineering streams very soon.
"We will provide them with good quality sets compatible with net facilities, sharing, uploading and downloading options and for those needing good connectivity data pack and recharge for three months," Bhattacharya said.
He, however, said the total number of such students was being assessed by a university committee after the students' union provided their own survey figure.
Asked how the students not having android sets and poor net connectivity will get access to classes as digital classes in arts and science are slated to begin from September 14, Bhattacharya said the authorities are planning to complete the process as early as possible.
Semester classes for engineering are slated to begin from September 25.
Asked to elaborate on the digital mode of teaching, Bhattacharya said it will be done on a virtual platform on Google.
Also, audio and video clips of lectures and course contents will be uploaded at a secure, protected dedicated section in university portal.
The teachers of the concerned department will be able to access the section and share the links of files through pdf with the student having net connectivity.
The students having net connectivity will share the contents with those deprived of the facilities as of now.
Once they too get the facilities, everyone will be able to participate in classes and there will be no digital divide.
The varsity will provide the handsets and net pack from its own fund raised from contributions from various quarters including alumni and faculty.
The Pro-VC said the university on Friday decided to hold final semester exams in arts and science streams from October 1 to 10 in 'non-contact, digital' mode.
"Questions will be sent through email before exams. Students will have to download the questions and answer on paper sheet in two hours time. After two hours they will have to mail it back through attachment," he said.
The students will be given some extra time keeping in mind net connectivity issues but that cannot be indefinitely extended.
"If any student faces difficulty he can call up a helpline number given before the exams," he said.
The varsity decided to hold exams after the UGC gave nod to the state Higher education department to conduct final semester tests in October, he said. —PTI