UGC Guidelines Should Be Advisory, Not Mandatory: Maharashtra Higher Education Minister
Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant argued that the revised University Grants Commission, or UGC, guidelines on exam and academic calendar should be “advisory” not “mandatory”.
In a letter to the Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant argued that the revised University Grants Commission, or UGC, guidelines on exams and academic calendar should be “advisory” not “mandatory”. The revised guidelines for final and intermediate exams, released on July 6, suggest conducting final year university exams by September-end in online, offline (pen-and-paper), or in blended (online and offline) mode.
Maharashtra, on the other hand, had already decided to cancel final year university exams in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had previously written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to direct the apex regulatory bodies to “endorse the decision of state governments”.
“In view of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Maharashtra promoted the students of intermediate semester...the State Disaster Management Authority...was of the opinion that that final or terminal exams also cannot be conducted,” Mr Samant said in his letter.
Mr Uday Samant argued that the government’s decision was in line with the April guidelines by UGC, as it permitted universities to make modifications to the guidelines “to deal with particular situation in the best interest of students”.
“...Conducting final year exams for approximately more than 10 lakh students seems highly infeasible task and if conducted, would endanger the wellbeing of students, parents, teachers, supporting staff and other machinery involved in the process,” Mr Samant added.
Apart from Maharashtra, other states including Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana and Rajasthan have already cancelled all higher education exams without waiting for the UGC guidelines. Individual institutes like Lucknow University, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Jadavpur University and IIT Bombay have also adopted similar methods to grade students without exams.