On Monday, Disaster Management Authority led by CM Uddhav Thackeray reiterated its earlier decision to cancel final year eams due to present COVID-19 crisis in Maharashtra, said State Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant.
The Minister added that the Maharashtra government is not averse to hold final year exams amid the crisis. Samant said, "Will convey Disaster Management Authority's decision on cancellation of exams to HRD Ministry and UGC."
Adding that almost 10 states have said that they cannot hold final year exams, Samant appealed the Centre to leave this issue to the states and let them take a decision on it.
Earlier, amidst the raging controversy over the cancellation of final year examinations, Samant had questioned the locus standi of the Union Home Ministry in the matter of giving permission for holding such exams during the present COVID-19 crisis.
He had also objected to the UGC's move to issue fresh guidelines for compulsorily conducting these exams. In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, Samant said the state government is firm on not to hold these exams, adding that it will do everything to protect the health of the students.
Samant told FPJ, "The state government is ready to do everything for the safety of students. It will not hold exams in the present circumstances. If some Vice-Chancellors hold exams, it will be at their risk. If students get infected with Covid-19 then I will instruct filing of a first information report (FIR) against those VCs and Registrars of Universities for playing with the lives of the students."
The Minister also added that the department had no robots to set exam papers stating that it has to mobilize thousands of personnel to set exam papers and get them printed. "The department will have to organise state transport buses for transportation of papers and personnel. As per the guidelines, only 20 students will sit in every class room; so, count how many classrooms the state needs to accommodate 9 lakh students in the state. It is simply impossible. The exam schedule -- from paper setting to results -- is 100 days," Samant said.
"Further, several private and government colleges have been acquired for quarantine purposes. Nearly one month will be needed for sanitization and other safety measures. This will not be possible."