September 2020 deadline for final year exams: UGC

Updated: Jul 08, 2020, 07:24 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

This comes month after state govt said that no exams would be held this year in view of the COVID-19 situation; new rules spark protests across city

Shreedhar Pednekar from Chatra Bharati Vidyarthi Sanghatna
Shreedhar Pednekar from Chatra Bharati Vidyarthi Sanghatna

The confusion over exams seems to be a never-ending one for Mumbai University's final year students. Even though the state government had declared on May 31 that no exams would be held for final year students, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued new guidelines on Monday, which says that the exams should be held latest by September through the online or offline mode. The guidelines have led to dissent among students and have sparked protests.

Amol Matele, president of NCP students' union, which held a protest outside the government's administrative building on Tuesday, said, "This is unfair for lakhs of students across the country. Considering the current health crisis it is risky to conduct examinations, especially when the number of COVID-19 cases are constantly rising."

Shreedhar Pednekar from Chatra Bharati Vidyarthi Sanghatna said, "This is clear mental harassment of students. In the earlier guidelines the UGC had said how evaluation could be done if it was not possible to conduct examinations. Now a different stand is only putting pressure on students. It appears that the revised guidelines have been issued without proper groundwork because there are still so many Containment Zones across the state."

'So unfair to students'
Mohammad Salman, president of Student Islamic Organisation, South Maharashtra, said, "The revised guidelines are pointless, unreasonable and unfair to students, teachers and educational institutes. Earlier, the UGC had set a July deadline for conducting the final year examinations, which was impossible to meet due to the COVID-19 crisis. Now the commission has extended it to September. However, even this deadline is unjustified as the situation continues to remain precarious and unpredictable. Besides, extending the current academic year to September will have an adverse impact on the subsequent academic years of universities across the country."

'Will go on hunger strike'
Another students' organisation Vidhyarthi Bharati has also taken a strong stand against the revised guidelines. Manjiri Dhuri, state head of the organisation, said, "This is shocking for all the students amid this health crisis. If this decision is not taken back in seven days, I will launch a hunger strike."
On the other hand, Siddharth Ingle, president of the Maharashtra Students' Union said, "This is a clear political game between the central and state governments, and we will not let students suffer because of it."

Meanwhile, state Higher and Technical Education Minister, Uday Samant tweeted, "Revised guidelines of UGC regarding final year examinations is a shock for all. Even after knowing Covid-19 conditions in Maharashtra, taking such a decision is clearly playing with life of final year students." The minister has also written a letter to the Central government regarding the same.

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