Pune: The Maharashtra government has appealed to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to allow cancellation of final year examination of all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the State.
The State higher and technical education minister Uday Samant, in his live interaction with students on Facebook, announced that amidst the worsening coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation, and keeping in mind the health and safety of students, it will be challenging to conduct an examination under these circumstances. The final decision will be communicated within two days to students, he stated.
According to the UGC guidelines on examination, it was suggested to conduct the examinations between July 1-30. Following which the State government had also instructed the universities to formulate an action plan accordingly on May 8. After which several students had demanded to cancel the examination stating that it will cause a threat to their life.
Samant stated that the Maharashtra environment minister Aaditya Thackeray who is also the president of Yuva Sena had proposed UGC to cancel the examinations for final year students in the State like it has been instructed for students of other years.
Upholding Thackeray’s suggestion, the Samant has issued a letter to the UGC stating that, “In the view of COVID-19 pandemic situation in Maharashtra and considering the feasibility of conducting the exams of approximately 8 - 10 lakh students from across the State and the country by maintaining all safety protocols seems very challenging and may endanger the safety and health of the students. Hence I am of the opinion that the terminal (final) examinations should not be conducted this year.”
“Considering the extension of lockdown in Maharashtra till May 31 and rising cases in Mumbai, Pune, Malegaon, Aurangabad, Nagpur, it is not possible for us to conduct the examination for final year students in Maharashtra. The increase in cases of COVID-19 will pose a threat to student’s health and safety,” said Samant.
“Therefore, it has been requested to UGC to allow the state government to cancel the examinations for final year students as well. Given this point, universities will formulate a gradation system/marks system that will appropriately evaluate the students, and efforts will be made to ensure no student will suffer academic loss,” he added.
Confirming that the UGC has received the letter, the minister also stated that in case the state government doesn’t receive any response from the commission, then a meeting will be held along with Thackeray, state government chief secretary Ajay Mehta and vice-chancellors of all the universities to discuss and establish a gradation system as per the UGC guidelines. The decision of this meeting will be notified to students within two days, stated Samant.
CET exams will be held
However, Samant stated that it is necessary to conduct the state common entrance test (CET) for several undergraduate courses and the schedule for it has also been published. He announced that CET exams would be held on the given dates of July 4, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 28, 29 and 30.
The CET examination centres will be established in every taluka. So far over five lakh students have registered for the CET examination. Samant also assured that if anyone missed the examination, the State CET cell will take cognisance of it and conduct their examination as well. Transport facility will be arranged for students who are unable to reach the examination centres, stated the ministry.