Final year students welcome CM’s letter on nationwide cancellation of examinations

Final year students have welcomed the effort of the Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) to appeal to the Prime Minister (PM), stating it is not possible to conduct final year examinations in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having welcomed the decision, students of professional courses, such as engineering, pharmacy, hotel management, architecture, planning, management studies, computer studies, law, physical education and pedagogy, are worried about how they will be graded and awarded their degrees. In his letter, the CM stated, "I request you (the Prime Minister) to instruct the apex authorities to endorse the decision of the state government regarding cancellation of final year/final semester exams of professional courses and to issue necessary guidelines to the universities in this regard."

The state seeks endorsement as professional courses are regulated by national level apex bodies, such as All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Council of Architecture (COA), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), Bar Council of India (BCI), National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE) and National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology.

As per the government resolution (GR) dated June 19, 2020, "Students of professional and non-professional courses who have cleared all the previous semesters and do not want to appear for the last semester examinations of the final year should give in writing that ‘they do not want to appear for the final examinations’ to their respective universities. These students will be given an average score based on the aggregate marks of the previous semesters and provided with results."

In addition, "Those students who are not satisfied with the average marks and wish to score higher should also state so in writing. These students can appear for an optional examination later whenever it is possible to do so, considering the situation on-ground. Universities will declare a time-table for the same."

Maharashtra Students Union (MASU) has appealed to the state to release official guidelines on how students will be marked and awarded degree certificates. Siddharth Ingle, founder president of MASU, said, "Students need clarity on how and when they will get their degree certificates. The state government should direct universities, colleges and institutes to communicate guidelines, steps and dates to students. Also, the state should take an official decision regarding backlog and ATKT examinations, because these students cannot be promoted based on the average marks of previous semesters."

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