More than a week after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25 requesting him to instruct apex councils governing different professional courses in state colleges to endorse Maharashtra’s decision to cancel all final year examinations, the apex authorities are still undecided on the matter.
A few deemed universities, including Pune-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Mumbai’s Institute of Chemical Technology, which do not fall under the state government, meanwhile, have begun conducting exams for final-year students. These institutions have cited non-violation of norms.
The state Higher and Technical Education department on June 19 had issued a notification stating the Maharashtra government was not willing to conduct exams for professional and non-professional courses due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.
Claiming that they have not been instructed by the Union government on the matter yet, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) chairman, Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, told The Sunday Express, “We are waiting for a report from an University Grants Commission (UGC) committee which has been asked to review its guidelines in view of demands for cancellation of exams. Two vice-chancellors of technical universities are also a part of this committee and the AICTE will base its decisions on the recommendations of this report.”
The UGC governs all state universities. A committee under it has currently been tasked with examining the guidelines considering the demand for cancelling exams.
The purview of AICTE covers programmes of technical education including training and research in engineering, technology, architecture, town planning, management, pharmacy, applied arts and crafts, and catering technology, etc at different levels.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) is yet to announce its decision on conducting the final-year exams for law courses. “Our chairman, AP Mishra, is undergoing medical treatment. A meeting with him will be conducted within 15 days, after which we will declare a decision. So far, BCI has maintained that conducting of final-year exams is compulsory,” said vice-chairman Satish Deshmukh.
The state has 2,83,937 students enrolled various professional courses including law, pharmacy, architecture, management and others disciplines.
The fate of ATKT (allowed to keep term) students, meanwhile, continues to hang in balance as the state government is yet to make an announce in the matter. The state has nearly 3.41 lakh ATKT students. On June 19, Samant had said a decision on ATKT students would soon be made subsequent to consultations with vice-chancellors of the state universities.
On July 1, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) deferred final-year exams for medical students in the state exams from July 15 to August 3 owing to the lockdown till July 31. Maharashtra students’ union (MASU) on Friday had written to MUHS asking it to announce safety measures that will be taken for students appearing for the exams.
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