Mumbai: While the first semester for First Year (FY) and Second Year (SY) students of various Undergraduate (UG) programmes has been completed, degree colleges are still waiting for clarity from the state higher education department on conducting semester examinations. Colleges state that they have completed the syllabus via virtual classes but the education department has not given clear instructions on the mode and timeline to conduct semester exams.
Degree colleges said they have finished teaching the syllabus for the first semester and the exams are generally conducted before Diwali break. The principal of a South Mumbai college said, "We completed the syllabus for FY and SY for various UG courses by conducting regular online lectures. But, we have not received any direction or information from the state higher education department on how and when to conduct exams."
“We do not know whether we should conduct semester exams in online mode or wait for universities and colleges to reopen physically post Diwali break, said Damini Bhatnakar, a college professor. Bhatnakar said, "If we have to conduct semester exams in online mode then we have to start preparing, setting digital question papers and online assessment systems in advance. But, the education department should provide some direction to avoid delay and loss of academic year."
In addition, degree colleges and universities in Maharashtra are left confused about conducting semester examinations for FY and SY students of various UG programmes as the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of September 22, 2020 state that semester exams should be conducted in March 2021 followed by August 2021.
On the other hand, colleges said they began the academic year 2020-21 from September 1 by conducting online lectures and now, they have completed the first semester syllabus and need to conduct first semester exams.
Uday Samant, state higher and technical education minister, said, "As per the UGC guidelines, a decision will be taken to start the academic year after Diwali by holding a meeting with all concerned authorities."