Three chief ministers Saturday wrote to the Centre against the revised guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC), asking universities to complete examinations by September-end. They contended that this move will adversely affect the interest of students.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami wrote to Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, and requested the Centre to grant “freedom to states to work out their own assessment methods, without compromising on the quality and academic credibility”.
At least three other states — Odisha, Maharashtra and Punjab — have objected as well.
Kejriwal mentioned that “unprecedented decisions” need to be taken during a pandemic such as Covid-19, and tweeted, while sharing the letter, “For the sake of our youth, I urge Hon’ble PM to personally intervene and cancel final year exams of DU and other central government universities and save the future.”
Banerjee wrote that although UGC, in its earlier guidelines dated April 29, had said the guidelines are advisory and suggestive in nature, yet the revised guidelines issued on July 6 asks “all universities/colleges in the country to compulsorily complete the terminal semester/year examinations by end of September”.
Banerjee stated that with the rise in cases and unforeseen and challenging situation, the West Bengal government, after consulting vice-chancellors of varsities, issued its own advisory on June 27. “Our advisory…provides due weightage to internal assessment and performance of candidates in previous semesters in order to ensure transparency. Besides, (it) has a provision of holding special examination after the situation gets normalised for students who wish to appear in a formal examination instead of alternate evaluation method,” she wrote.
Banerjee stated the state advisory was appreciated by teachers, students, their parents and other stakeholders. She urged the Prime Minister to get the matter reexamined and “restore the earlier advisory of UGC”.
In his letter to Pokhriyal, Palaniswami stated that the Tamil Nadu government is not in a position to conduct college examinations for final year/semester students in September, as several educational institutions have been converted into Covid care centres. Such a move in the middle of the pandemic will jeopardise future of students facing their final exams, he wrote.
He said UGC’s guidelines have many constraints and difficulties, including students reaching examination centres, as many of them live outside the district or state – and some even outside the country. It is also not feasible to conduct online examinations, considering various issues relating to digital access to students, he stated.
WITH PTI INPUTS
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