Stating that holding of physical examination in the current pandemic situation was not feasible, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday agreed to the state government’s request to take up the matter with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and HRD Ministry about its directive to universities and colleges to conduct the pending examinations by the end of September.
After meeting state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, a statement issued by Raj Bhavan said, “It came to be indicated that holding of physical examination, given the current Covid-19 scenario, was not feasible. The Governor and the Higher Education Minister felt it imperative that the matter be taken up with the UGC and the HRD Minstry to appreciate the situation in West Bengal and make suitable amendments in the guidelines imparted by them.”
On July 6, the UGC tweaked its alternative calendar and advised colleges and universities to assess the graduating batch through an examination conducted in either online or offline or blended mode by September-end.
At least four states — Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Punjab — have objected to the UGC’s guidelines since and expressed their inability to comply. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking modification of the UGC order.
After meeting the Governor, Chatterjee said, “Under this current crisis, we don’t want to put lives of our students in danger. We have told the Governor that we will follow the earlier advisory of the UGC based on which all universities have decided not to hold physical examinations. We have prayed before the Governor to convey our decision to the UGC and MHRD.”
Dhankhar in his statement said, “In detail, all aspects of the UGC communications came up for consideration (during the meeting with the Education Minister). It was felt that the decision taken by the West Bengal government after the first guidelines of the UGC were issued, was based on deliberations with all stakeholders including teachers, guardians, and academicians. The mechanism evolved for the final year, where the result will be premised on 80% weightage for best aggregate percentage in any of previous semester/year and 20% weightage on internal assessment in current semester/year is well thought out and all universities in the state have sanctified it.”
The Governor also said he assured the minister that he would also take up the matter appropriately “in view of the stance reflected” in the letter of Chief Minister to the Prime Minister.
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