Final year exams don’t decide course completion success: Maharashtra govt tells Bombay HC

Mumbai: Claiming that the final year exams do not mark the successful completion of an academic course, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday justified its decision to not hold the exams for all final year graduates and to hand over them degrees based on their past performance. The government in an affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court said it has taken such a decision in view of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the state.

The affidavit filed by the head of the Directorate of Higher Education, also said that it would be inherently dangerous to hold exams in the state as the virus does spread through the papers.

“A conscious decision was taken to cancel the exams in view of the surge of Covid-19 cases in the state. It must be noted that the final examination which a student gives is only one among the many exams, a student gives during the entire length of the concerned educational course,” the affidavit reads.

“The final year exams of students of higher and technical education is not, in the classical sense, a decisive and final examination, which determines the successful completion of the course,” it added

The government reiterated its contention of the virus spreading through the papers. The government had taken a similar stand while opposing the holding of CBSE and ISCE exams for class 10 and 12.

“The virus spreads through the medium of papers and it must be noted that holding exams would include handling of papers by a huge number of human beings. Thus, it would be inherently dangerous from the point of view of public safety and also safety of students to permit holding of such exams," the affidavit stated.

The affidavit further goes on to read that the government has apt powers to cancel any exam in a situation such as the present one. It also pointed out that the government had held a meeting via video conferencing with the vice chancellor's of all the universities in the state and that all of them unanimously opposed holding exams for final year courses.

The affidavit has been filed in response to a PIL filed by a retired teacher, who has challenged the validity of the June 19 order, by which the state resolved not to hold exams for final year courses, both professional and general courses. The decision further mandated handing over degrees to over 10 lakh students based on their past performance.

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