AMRITSAR: – In the current scenario of COVID-19 pandemic, it is only recently the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued instructions in the month of March that Viva Voce of doctorate degrees be conducted in the online mode. Guru Nanak Dev University, however, on its own started the conduct of online Viva Voce for its doctorate programs way back in November 2018.
Only a small miniscule of Viva are being conducted in face to face mode and till date 154 Viva have been conducted using the facility of Video Conferencing. To bring propriety, the Viva is recorded and becomes part of the records of candidates and also it is verified not only by the supervisor, head of the concerned department but also by Dean of the concerned Faculty.
This initiative was one of the flagship programs of the current Vice-Chancellor Prof.Jaspal Singh Sandhu which not only reduced the timelines for award of degree but also unnecessary wait and expenses on the examiner to visit Amritsar were reduced substantially. Today, this model of Guru Nanak Dev University is being asked to be followed by all universities of the country by the University Grants Commission, the regulator of higher education in the country.
VC. Prof.Jaspal Singh Sandhu
The added advantage was that there was no need for having examiners only from local universities and out of the examiners appointed, only 14 were from the State of Punjab while 33 examiners were from Institutes of National Repute like IITs, IIMs, IISc, IISERs, and IIMs. Remaining examiners were from Central Universities and other universities of eminence. Two special rooms have been designated with the latest video conference facilities for conduct of Viva which are not only attended by candidates and examiners but also by the students and faculty of the department. On the financial side, keeping in view the scarcity of funds and limitation of grants given, this process of online viva has substantially reduced the expenditure of university which was spent on the travelling of examiners.