States Vs Centre Over Exam Guidelines Amid COVID-19 Crisis
The revised UGC guidelines which say that universities must conduct exams for terminal semesters or year by September 30 has caused problem for several states which had already announced cancellation of degree exams.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' , on July 11, said that University exams are essential to reflect students' potential, performance and their reliability which is essential for acceptance in global programmes. "Keeping in view the educational interests of a large number of students, the UGC has issued a guideline to conduct all the examinations of the terminal semester by September 30, 2020," he said.
However, the revised UGC guidelines which say that universities must conduct exams for terminal semesters or year by September 30 has caused problem for several states which had already announced cancellation of degree exams.
Delhi Cancels Exams In State Universities
Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia, on June 11, announced that degree examinations in all state-run universities stand cancelled. This, however, did not bring relief to students of Delhi University which is a central university.
Addressing the concerns about students' safety, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter.
"UGC and MHRD have refused to overturn their decision on the university exams. It seems that your intervention may resolve the issue. I humbly request you to review the centre and UGC's decision in the best interest of students and cancel the final semester exams, so that student's future could be saved," he wrote.
West Bengal Objects To UGC's Guidelines
West Bengal government has also objected to the UGC's guidelines. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also written a letter to Prime Minister Modi asking him to restore UGC's previous guideline which was advisory in nature and based on which the state government had cancelled exams in state-run universities.
The vice-chancellors of state-run universities have also decided to write to the University Grants Commission (UGC), stating the reasons for not following the July 6 guidelines that mandated final semester examinations by September 30.
Punjab CM Writes To Prime Minister Modi To Cancel Exams
Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, has also written to Prime Minister Modi seeking his intervention. "UGC may be asked to reiterate its earlier issued guidelines of 29th April 2020 wherein it had been clearly mentioned that the guidelines were advisory in nature and each State/University would chart out its own plan of action taking into consideration the issues pertaining to Covid-19 pandemic," he wrote.
Tamil Nadu CM Says UGC Guidelines 'Not Feasible'
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that conducting examinations is "not feasible" as most educational institutions have been turned into quarantine centres for COVID-19 patients. He added that it will be difficult for students to commute to the exam centre as most of them belong to other states or abroad.
Odisha Writes To MHRD To Review UGC Guidelines
Odisha Government has written a letter to Education Ministry regarding the revised UGC guidelines on University exams. The Directorate of Higher Education (DHE), Odisha tweeted that the state government has requested to be allowed to adhere to its decision of cancelling the University exams.
"State Government has today sent a letter to MHRD requesting to reconsider the revised guidelines of UGC and not to make conduct of UG & PG final term exams mandatory. MHRD has been requested to allow the State Government to adhere to its decision of cancellation of these exams," DHE Odisha tweeted from its social media handle.
Rajasthan To Consult Universities On Conducting Exams
Rajasthan Government had announced its decision to cancel university exams for terminal semesters on July 4. It has now said that it will consult state universities and then take a decision on conducting exams.
Maharashtra Objects To 'Mandatory' Exams
Maharashtra government had cancelled terminal semester exams for all professional and non-professional courses. Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said that the revised UGC guidelines on exam and academic calendar should be "advisory" not "mandatory".
Some States Gear Up For University Exams
Himachal Pradesh has decided to hold final year or sixth semester examinations for degree courses in August. Karnataka has also notified that the final semester exams would be held before the end of September 30. In Kerala, university exams are being held as per the timeline suggested by UGC in its April guidelines.