Govt Says Final-Year University Exams Can’t Be Cancelled; 6 States Oppose Exams
Six states across the country are against the decision of conducting final year examinations in universities in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
However, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has asserted that the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commision (UGC) have to be followed mandatorily and academic evaluation of students is important to ensure credibility and career opportunities.
Read on to find out more…
Are Students Being Asked to Choose Between Life and Examinations?
Universities, colleges and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 as the nation went into a complete lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. Although with restrictions, other activities are permitted, all educational institutions continue to remain shut.
Last week, the UGC made amends to its guidelines directing the higher education institutions that final year examinations would be conducted in September 2020 as opposed to July 2020, as per its guidelines announced in April. However, it directed all higher education institutions to conduct the final year examinations either offline, online or in blended mode.
According to the directive, the other year students were exempted from the exams and will be assessed based on previous semester performance and internal assessments.
The six states namely Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal and Delhi have announced restrictions against the HRD ministry’s plan citing the plan of conducting final year examinations in COVID-19 crisis.
What Does the HRD Ministry Have to Say After The Opposition?
A senior HRD Ministry official said, “The guidelines have not stated that the exams have to be conducted right away, the exams have to be concluded by September end. States can devise a calendar whenever it is feasible to conduct exams in this timeline. Also, the exams can be conducted either online, offline or in blended mode. Totally doing away with exams is not a feasible situation. The UGC guidelines are binding in nature.”
The official also said, “Academic evaluation of students is a very important milestone in any education system. The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability.”
The Ministry is open to discussing the concerns with states and working out a feasible solution but academic credibility cannot be compromised. Hence, the HRD ministry may meet state education secretaries this week to clarify matters regarding the final assessment of students pursuing degrees.
As per the UGC Act, the directive by the commission is binding and the plan to conduct exams is very much in place.
The official added giving examples of universities abroad, “Top-ranking universities of the world have opted for final exams to be done remotely. Like Princeton and MIT, University of Cambridge, Imperial College of London, University of Toronto and McMaster, University of Heidelberg and University of Hong Kong have resorted to the online technology-based model of conducting exams.”
We will keep you updated…