Finally, students relieved as Maharashtra govt decides not to conduct final-year exams

Mumbai: Finally, students could heave a sigh of relief, as the state government has decided not to conduct final-year exams, considering the risks involved in the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation. Even as students are relieved they will be graded on the basis of average marks of previous semesters, they are still awaiting a decision on backlog and ATKT exams.

On June 19, the state's higher and technical education minister, Uday Samant, announced on a Facebook live video address, "The state cannot conduct the final year last semester exams for professional and non-professional courses in Maharashtra, due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases. Students will be given average marks based on their scores in previous semesters while those who are not satisfied with average score will be given a chance to appear for optional exams." This announcement was followed by a government resolution (GR) released by the state.

Over 10 lakh students, who were eagerly awaiting an official decision, are now relieved that exams are cancelled. Esha Maleshwar, a final-year student of science (BSc) said, "These last three months have been quite stressful as every day I would wake up thinking, should I study for my exams or just wait for a cancellation." While Ali Chawdha, a final-year student of commerce (BCom), said, "I was going through a lot of mental stress because there was no clarity. Also, I was not ready to risk my health or my family's life by going out to appear for exams when coronavirus cases are increasing every day."

While some students are relieved, the others are waiting for a decision regarding backlog and ATKT exams. Rubert Baptist, a final-year student said, "I cannot be graded on average scores, as I have failed in two subjects in the previous semester. There should be some measures to clear backlog exams."

Samant has said, "A decision regarding backlog and ATKT exams will be taken in the next two to three days."

Siddharth Ingle, founder president of the Maharashtra Students Union (MASU), said, "We welcome the decision of the state to cancel final-year exams. As per the GR, students should give in writing whether or not they want to appear for exams at their respective universities. We do not know how will this be possible in the lockdown as there are a large number of students while universities are working with minimum staff."

Total number of final year students in Maharashtra: 10,18,453

No. of students in non-professional courses: 7,34,516

No. of students in professional courses: 2,83,937

No. of college buildings used as quarantine facilities: 41

No. of hostels used as quarantine centres: 198

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