The Maharashtra government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding the decisions taken by the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) at its meetings held on June 18 and July 13, recommending the cancellation of final year examinations because of the coronavirus pandemic. The government has also submitted a notification issued on June 19 based on the DMA’s decision regarding the same. The apex court, on July 31, had asked the state government to submit these decisions by August 7 before the next hearing slated for August 10 on Yuva Sena’s petition challenging the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) revised guidelines on conducting examinations by September end. The affidavit is in the Free Press Journal’s possession.
“The vice chancellors of all the non-agricultural universities, in its report on July 4 submitted to the government, said that it was not possible to conduct examinations at present. Considering the VC’s opinion, all the members of DMA unanimously expressed that it would not be possible to hold examinations in the present circumstances to secure the future of the students due to uncertainty of results and the commencement of the next academic year. So, DMA upheld the decision taken by the state government on June 19 regarding the final session/year examinations of non-professional and professional courses, said the state government citing the DMA’s decision.
Besides, DMA decided to request UGC, as it was not possible to conduct examinations as per the July 6 guidelines.
Further, DMA said that COVID-19 was limited to urban areas, but had also spread to rural areas. College buildings and student hostels have been acquired by the local administration for isolation rooms in Mumbai, Mumbai suburbs, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Aurangabad and several other districts. “It is important to look after the health interest of students. Therefore, the state government, based on the DMA’s decisions, has taken a decision to cancel final year examinations by giving an option to appear for it whenever they are conducted. Students will be passed based on the aggregate of the averages of previous semesters,’’ said the state government in its affidavit.