Within hours of reiterating that university exams will be conducted as per schedule, including Gujarat Technological University (GTU) exams commencing from Thursday, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Wednesday declared that all university exams in the state have been put on hold. Attributing the change in the decision to directions from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the education minister stated that the announcement of putting the examinations on hold was made as soon as the communication was received.
“Although the state and its universities are ready to conduct examinations, MHRD Secretary Amit Khare called and suggested maintaining uniformity across the country, to which we agreed,” said Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.
Nearly four hours before this announcement, in an earlier statement and press briefing around 12.30 pm, Chudasama had reiterated that there would not be any change in the schedule of university exams. The minister had also stated that the majority of students were in favour of exams being conducted and only a fraction of them were against it.
Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University in Patan even conducted its first exam for Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) course on Wednesday. Over 450 BHMS final year students sat for their first exam. “As per the state government instructions, we have also put all examinations on hold.
The BHMS final year examinations will be considered whenever the revised guidelines and schedule is prepared,” Examination Controller at Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, Patan, Mitul Deliya told The Indian Express. The next exam for BHMS students was scheduled on Thursday and the last exam on July 10.
Notably, when the majority of state universities excluding GTU had put their examinations on hold last month, it was the state’s private universities that were eager to finish with exams at the earliest.
GTU along with a few other state universities had also sought a nod from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct examinations. “We have written to the UGC to give autonomy to universities and let them decide regarding examinations. But no communication on this has been received so far,” said Vice Chancellor of GTU, Navin Sheth. “Since the new guidelines for university examinations is still awaited from the UGC, which is expected to take a few days, MHRD communicated this over the telephone.”
GTU, the largest university in the state with over 480 affiliated technical colleges, had stuck to its decision of conducting exams as per schedule despite vehement protests and a demand from its students to put these examinations on hold.
Among the protesters was the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). “We welcome the decision but at the same time, it is really strange that the state minister himself is not aware whether exams are to be conducted or not. Bringing uniformity, now we urge the state government to postpone medical and paramedical exams, too,” said NSUI state president Mahipalsinh Gadhavi.
The GTU had cited student support for deciding to continue with exams. “As many as 54,500 students are ready to appear for exams. The remaining opted for the “online” and “to appear for examinations later” options. These included 1,350 students who opted for online exams and 922 for the later option,” the GTU VC had said.
Of the 1.20 lakh students who had to appear for examinations, including final year students and repeaters, nearly 57,000 final year students were to appear for the examinations starting July 2.
However, students who had travelled down to the respective cities to be at the examination centres believe that putting exams on hold, a day before the exams were to begin, is not a good idea. “I came from Delhi and reached Ahmedabad yesterday. Since we had already prepared for the exams, these should have been conducted maintaining all safety measures,” said a student of LD Engineering college in Ahmedabad.
Another added that the same is causing a delay for those wanting to go for postgraduate courses or join jobs. “I want to apply for a government job that requires graduation and the details of my marks. Amid all this confusion, I cannot do that,” lamented another engineering student.
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