Former UGC chairman supports demand for cancellation of final year examinations

University Grant Commission's (UGC) former chairman Professor Sukhdev Thorat has dashed off a letter, asking UGC not to press for conducting the final year examination in the present coronavirus pandemic. Terming the UGC revised guidelines on examinations as ‘unfortunate,’ he said it has caused a sense of uncertainty amongst teachers and students.

Thorat supported the demand by teachers and students to cancel final year examinations and grade students using alternative methods, especially during the present coronavirus pandemic. The letter has been signed by 28 professors.

''The recommendation to cancel examinations was prompted by an unprecedented health emergency, not by doubts about the value of examinations,'' said Thorat. He further noted that the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic will result in repeated postponements, which can be avoided by adopting alternative methods of education, including the past performance of students.

Thorat also raised objections against the online examination, saying that it may not give equal opportunities to all students. ''Online examination lacks the feature of close supervision to prevent cheating,'' he opined.

He argued that the cancellation of final year examinations in the present circumstances is sensible and fair, as examinations must not be devalued.

Thorat letter comes close on the heels of the decision taken by 10 states to cancel the examinations. However, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and UGC want examinations to be held in September. States have argued that it will endanger the wellbeing of students, parents, teachers, supporting staff and other machinery involved in the process.

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