State Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant on Saturday conducted a meeting with all the 13 vice-chancellors of non-agricultural universities in Maharashtra. A committee has been also set up to look into modalities of conducting the final-year exams that will submit its report Sunday.
Based on the suggestions of the committee, Samant said, discussions will be held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, among other stakeholders and a decision in the matter will be “announced at the earliest”.
On Friday, after the Supreme Court held that students of final year cannot be promoted without holding examinations, the state government said it “respects” the decision and would hold talks with students, parents, university vice-chancellors and the state administration officials to “figure out” modalities to conduct the exams.
A statement issued by Samant on Saturday said the committee, which earlier coordinated to present recommendations, now has been asked to figure when, where and how the exams can be conducted in a uniform manner by adopting an easy and smooth procedure. Caution will be taken to ensure that the exams do not cause mental distress among students and require minimum resources, it stated.
The committee has also been asked to deliberate on the possibility of conducting exams before September 30, as advised by the University Grants Commission in its circular dated July 6. It will also explore the decisions being made by Goa, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Benaras universities in this regard.
In a separate meeting, held at the state secretariat, UGC guidelines, suggestions given by the vice-chancellors, prevalence of Covid-19 in the state, procedure for announcing result for the academic year were discussed. The meeting was attended by Samant along with state Minister for Higher and Technical Education Prajakt Tanpure, Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Jalota, Director of Higher Education Dhanraj Mane, Director of Technical Education Abhay Wagh and others.
Meanwhile, at a management council meeting of the University of Mumbai on Friday, members have resolved to begin work on creating a blueprint for holding examination, sources said. All powers have been bestowed to the vice-chancellor to consult an Academic Council on conducting the exams.
In mid-July, nearly 300 senate members of non-agricultural state universities had endorsed a blueprint created by members of Vidyapeeth Vikas Manch — comprising academicians, former administrators and principals among other stakeholders — for conducting examinations by sending individual emails to Maharashtra Governor, who is also the Chancellor for all state universities. The Manch had suggested that individual colleges should be allowed to prepare question papers and conduct examinations within a specific period, and the time-table for the exams should be made flexible.
On mode of conducting the exams, the blueprint stated: “Let the colleges decide an option proposed by the UGC for actual conduct of examinations as per the situation prevailing and resources available with the respective colleges. Such examinations will be for both types of students: regular as well as ATKT.” It further said evaluation of academic performance of students (or answer sheets) should be done by the subject teachers of respective colleges and marks should be submitted to the exam department of the colleges.
“Brainstorming needs to be done by the board of examinations, and these points can be considered. We have already submitted the blueprint to universities in mid-July,” advocate Neel Helekar, MU management council member, said.
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