Mumbai: The examination system and all those involved are truly being put to the test in this pandemic situation.
In view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state higher education minister Uday Samant has appealed to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to cancel all the last semester exams for all final-year undergraduate (UG), postgraduate (PG), diploma, PhD and all higher education students.
Interacting with students on Facebook live on Tuesday, Samant said, "Students will be informed about the final decision on cancellation of exams in the next two days."
On Tuesday, Samant announced he had written to the UGC on May 17, saying, "In view of the COVID-19pandemic situation in Maharashtra, it will be challenging to conduct exams for around 8 to 10 lakh students by maintaining safety protocols. This may endanger the health of students and add to their stress, thus adversely affecting their mental well-being."
Samant said, "I have requested the UGC to consider the option of promoting students without conducting the last year exams for UG/PG programmes. Students can be graded as per the UGC guidelines.
Conducting exams at centres across various districts of the state will pose severe risks to large number of students, teachers and staff involved in examination process."
Earlier, on May 8, Samant had announced that last semester exams for all final year students would be conducted from July 1 to 31, according to the UGC guidelines.
These exams, including major University of Mumbai (MU) exams, were to be taken by over 2.22 lakh students and would have been conducted by maintaining social distancing norms in view of the coronavirus pandemic. But now, in the next two days, a final decision on the subject will be taken by the state if the UGC does not respond.
There will be no academic loss to any student, Samant added. This letter was written as Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray appealed for the revocation of the decision to conduct final year exams out of concern for the safety and security of students.