After the Home Ministry gave its permission on Monday late evening, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (HRD) said that final year examinations in universities and colleges would be conducted by September end either in offline, online or blended (combination of offline or online) mode. Those students who are unable to attend these examinations will be given another chance to appear for special examinations which will be conducted by universities whenever feasible.
States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala had decided to cancel the final exams for university students. They will now have to reconsider their decision. In Maharashtra, the state government had earlier announced to cancel the exam but later had to retract the decision as Governor Bhagatsinh Koshyari had objected to the decision.
Koshyari had made it clear then, that cancellation of examinations would jeopardise the future of students and any decision regarding holding of the examinations of final year students ‘shall be taken in consonance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act’. The Governor had also stated that as the Chancellor of universities, it would have the final authority over all university matters.
HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank tweeted the revised guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in which he has said, “The UGC has revisited its earlier guidelines related to university examinations. In view of the safety, career progression and placements of the students and their larger interests, after consulting Home and Health Ministry, it has been decided that Intermediate semester students will be evaluated based on internal assessment (as per earlier issued guidelines). Evaluation of the terminal semester students which was to be done through examinations in the month of July, now their examinations will be conducted by the end of September-2020, following the guidelines laid down by the Health Ministry for COVID-19.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs in its letter to the Union Higher Education Secretary permitting universities and institutions to conduct examinations has said, “The final Term 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 UGC revised guidelines also say that “Students of terminal semester or final year students having a backlog should compulsorily be evaluated by offline or online examinations as per feasibility and suitability. The above provision shall be applicable only for the current academic session 2019-20 as a one-time measure.”