UGC directs universities to hold conduct final year exams in September; A big jolt to states who have cancelled the examinations

UGC directs universities to hold conduct final year exams in September; A big jolt to states who have cancelled the examinations

Written By: / Tuesday, 07 July 2020 18:38

IT Correspondent
New Delhi/Mumbai, July 7:

The University Grant Commission (UGC) on Monday, directed all universities and colleges to conduct final year University Exams 2020, in either online or offline or blended mode, by September-end and made it clear that the examinations will not be cancelled. 
The decision came after Union HRD ministry sent a letter to the Union higher education Secretary permitting universities and institutions to conduct examinations. The final year examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the Universities and as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the letter stated. 
In a circular issued on Monday, UGC Secretary Prof. Rajnish Jain, said that above decision was based on the report of the expert committee and the guidelines already issued by UGC on 29 April, 2020.
 As per the guidelines, those students who have backlog should compulsory be evaluated by offline or online examinations as per ‘feasibility and suitability’. If a final year student is unable to appear in the examination, the university must arrange special examination for the student. This provision will be applicable only for the current academic session 2019-2020 as a one-time measure, UGC underlined. 
In case a student of terminal semester/final year is unable to appear in the examination conducted by the university for whatsoever the reason, he or she may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations, which may be conducted by the university as and when feasible, so that the student is not put to any inconvenience or disadvantage, UGC said. 
The educational institutions were shut in the last week of March to curb the coronavirus spread and various examinations conducted by universities and higher education institutions remained suspended since then. 
In the academic calendar for higher education institutions released on 29 April, UGC had stated that universities can conduct final-year or terminal semester examination between first July and 15 July and declare results by end of the month. However that decision was deferred. 
A chaos prevailed in Maharashtra, when on 19 May, the Government wrote to UGC, saying that it will not be possible to conduct exams due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. On 30 May, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, declared that the final-year exams will not be conducted after discussing the matter with VCs of different universities. Following this, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, in his capacity as a chancellor of universities in state, wrote to Thackeray, saying  ”You cannot unilaterally decide whether exams can be conducted or not.” 
Then on 19 June, the Maharashtra government officially cancelled final year examinations of  non-technical courses (like B.A, B.Sc, B.Com) and stated that those who were willing to take up exams, should submit a  letter to respective colleges/institutes, who will decide the future course of action. However about the courses like engineering, law, pharmacy, hotel management, management, architecture, planning, computer science, physical education and pedagogy, the Government decided to seek the advice from the central councils. 
Now with UGC’s new guidelines Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, who have cancelled all exams in higher education, will have to revisit their decision.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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