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No exams at IIT-KGP, online test at IIT-Delhi: How IITs will hold exams as Covid cases rise

Most IITs have scheduled exams between April and May for students in 2nd year and above. For 1st-year students, whose classes began late, exams have been scheduled for July.

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New Delhi: Exams for the 2020-21 academic session, which ends in April-May, will be held online at most IITs. IIT-Madras is a rare outlier that will attempt to juggle both online and offline exams, while IIT-Kharagpur is not holding mid- and end-semester exams at all, instead relying on continuous assessment through the semester for grading.

Classes at the premier engineering institutions have largely been online since the Covid-19 lockdown was first imposed in March 2020, although a few IITs have allowed those students on campus whose courses require lab or research work.

Last year, the Union Ministry of Education constituted a committee to suggest measures for developing a common protocol on conducting exams at Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), including IITs, in light of Covid-19. IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthy was appointed as convenor of the 10-member-committee.

Submitted last month, the committee’s report — a copy of which is with ThePrint — suggested exams be conducted via both online and offline modes. 

The offline mode suggested was on the lines of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), and required institutes to identify test centres at various locations across the country. 

Students, the committee said, could then choose to take their exams at the centre nearest to them. The committee suggested that institutes could use Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) — which have over 1,000 branches across the country — as exam centres. 

However, as India grapples with a second Covid wave, most IITs are choosing to go for the safer option. 

Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic forced at least four IITs — Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai and Roorkee — to cancel their final-year exams, while others like IIT-Delhi went for different evaluation options.

For academic session 2020-21, most IITs have scheduled exams between April and May for students in the second year and beyond. For first-year students, whose classes began late, exams have been scheduled for July. 

Also Read: 4 yrs after govt told IITs to devise system to fire non-performers, there’s little progress


A senior official at IIT-Delhi told ThePrint that “the online thing (mode of exam) will continue until students can come back to the campus”. 

IIT-Delhi has been conducting classes online for most students throughout the academic year. Unless students are required to be on campus for research and lab work, they have been attending classes online. 


IIT-Hyderabad also plans to go for online exams. “IIT-Hyderabad has been conducting exams in an online mode since April 2020. We will continue to do so for this semester too,” said IIT-Hyderabad Director Professor B.S. Murty.  


IIT-Madras is going for a blended exam model. “IIT-Madras is conducting a mix of online exams and offsite proctored exams at KV schools across the country,” the IIT Madras spokesperson told ThePrint in an email response. 

“In some courses, it is possible to conduct an online exam through a combination of written answers to questions, viva voce, design assignments, etc. In other courses, particularly the core courses with large classes, the offsite proctored exam with a common question paper is more appropriate,” the spokesperson added.

IIT-Madras, the spokesperson said, “uses the appropriate method for each course”. 

“Since there are more than 1,000 KV schools across the country, most of our students are able to write their exams in a school not far from their homes,” the spokesperson added. 


IIT-Kharagpur said “there will be no mid-semester and end-semester examination”. Evaluation and grading will be based on continuous assessment throughout the semester. 

The institute has been conducting online classes, assignments etc. using a range of online educational platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics, prep buddy, WebEx, Moodle etc,” IIT-Kharagpur Director V.K. Tewari said on his Facebook page earlier this month. 


In a notice issued on 17 February, IIT-Roorkee said it would take a decision regarding the mode of exams based on the Covid situation at the time. “Mid-term and end-term examinations to be conducted as per the calendar schedule. The mode of examinations to be conventional (offline) when conditions become normal again, otherwise the said examinations will be conducted in an online mode,” it stated.

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At IIT-Mandi, exams will be conducted online, said Prof. Pradeep Parameswaran, Dean Academics. “Ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed, IIT-Mandi has opted for the blended learning model. The ongoing academic session is taking place in online mode and the exams will be conducted in online mode only,” he added.


A spokesperson for IIT-Guwahati told ThePrint via email that they plan to continue with the online mode for exams.

Edited by Sunanda Ranjan

Also Read: IITs, other Institutes of Eminence can set up offshore campuses now — UGC issues new rules


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  1. Supposedly , there are other IIT’s also in the country , which are not named in the country . Illiterate and 3rd tier journalist like that of Print , are just begging for fame by taking reviews of Only some Major IIT’s . Whereas the way you neglected other IIT ‘s make people believe how hypocrite , idiots and brainless idiots this page has appointed .

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