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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Exams at all Delhi govt universities cancelled, declares Manish Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said state universities have been asked to come up with "a set of parameters for evaluation on the basis of the students' past performance" and award them degrees

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Updated: July 12, 2020 8:53:43 am
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said state universities have been asked to come up with “a set of parameters for evaluation on the basis of the students’ past performance” and award them degrees. File

The Delhi government Saturday cancelled all upcoming examinations to be conducted in state universities, both for final and intermediate year/semester students, arguing it would be “unfair” to hold exams as the teaching-learning process was “hampered” due to Covid.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said state universities have been asked to come up with “a set of parameters for evaluation on the basis of the students’ past performance” and award them degrees.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday, suggesting that exams in central universities be scrapped and students be evaluated on the basis of internal assessment and previous marks. The University Grants Commission (UGC), in its revised guidelines dated July 6, had decided against recommending scrapping of exams, instead asking universities to conduct them by September-end.

“Students, teachers and parents are angered by this decision and believe it should be rolled back. Reputed institutions such as IIT and NLU have already given degrees to students in the final year based on internal assessments. Why shouldn’t others also do it? Across universities in the world, the same format is being followed,” Kejriwal wrote.

He also pointed out that Delhi had decided to cancel exams but a similar decision for Central universities such as Delhi University will have to be taken by the Centre.

“The MHRD and UGC are not ready to change their decision in the matter. It seems only your intervention can solve this problem. It is my request to you that keeping in mind the overall well being of students, the government and UGC amend the guidelines, cancel exams for final semester students, and save the future of our students,” the CM wrote. Sisodia, meanwhile, explained the rationale behind cancelling exams in state universities.

“It is unfair to conduct examinations for students amid the pandemic, which has already hampered their learning in the absence of regular classes, practicals and lab work. It is also unfair to withhold their degrees now, without which they cannot start their professional journey,” Sisodia said in a webcast.

Arguing it would be difficult to conduct examinations for the semester, he said, “July is the most important month for examinations and evaluation at universities. Delhi government believes that in these extraordinary times, we need to make extraordinary decisions. That is why the Delhi government has decided all upcoming examinations in the Delhi State Universities should be cancelled. This includes all semester and final year examinations. All upcoming examinations for students of first year, second year and third year stand cancelled.”

There are eight state-run universities in Delhi, recognised by UGC.He said universities were directed to evaluate students on the basis of “already conducted exams from previous semesters, internal assessments and also come up with other progressive ways to promote the students”.

“Exams cannot be conducted due to the fear of the spread of Covid. And awarding degrees to students is very important because they have studied for three or four years; now they want to get their degrees and start working. A lot of people might have even secured jobs and cracked interviews for companies. Let them march ahead in their professional journey and contribute to the economy,” said Sisodia.

After Sisodia’s announcement, state universities said they were waiting for a detailed order from the government. Brigadier Pradeep Upmanyu, Joint Registrar at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, said, “We had not conducted any exams till now. We are still waiting for more detailed guidelines from the government after which we will discuss and deliberate on what is to be done.”

Delhi Technological University PRO Anoop Lather said, “As far as the fourth year or final year exams are concerned, we have already conducted our exams. These exams were held online. For the rest, exams were scheduled to begin on July 20. We will now discuss and reconsider it.”

However, the decision will not affect universities like Ambedkar University Delhi, which has already conducted evaluation for all students. “We have an innovative method of continuous assessment which came in handy during these times. As our online teaching-learning process went off smoothly, we were also able to evaluate students and declare results earlier,” Vice-Chancellor Anu Singh Lather said.

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