Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC), on Thursday, submitted a memorandum to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, demanding for the cancellation of final year examinations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. MPYC’s move comes on the eve of the Supreme Court hearing, slated for the petition filed by Shiv Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena and headed by state Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray. The petition challenged the University Grant Commission’s (UGC) revised guidelines on conducting final year examinations by September. Already MPYC, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Nationalist Congress Party’s youth wing have extended support to Yuva Sena, making a strong case for the cancellation of these examinations, which could risk the lives of over 9 lakh students in the state.
MPYC president Satyajeet Tambe, who led the delegation, said that amidst the increase in COVID-19 cases, the feasibility of conducting examinations is oblivious. “Some major problems include 14-day quarantine for students who travel to the colleges, lack of resources, accommodation, non-availability of public transport and maintaining social distance. The UGC guidelines oppose the very federal structure of education, where several states have already stated their concerns and inability to conduct the end semester examination,’’ he noted.
MPYC also urged that ATKT and backlogs should be promoted to the next year in view of the current pandemic and the universities should pay stipend to the researchers. Semester results should be calculated using an agreed upon formula, which assigns aggregate marks to students based on their performance in the previous semesters. It has demanded that it should be a uniform process to be followed by every university and colleges in the country to avoid lapses.
Tambe has brought to the governor’s notice that examination fees have been collected by most institutions but that need to be refunded. “Universities should not charge fees for the current semester or the upcoming one if there is no clarity on the pandemic and the reopening of colleges and next set of examinations,’’ he noted.
According to MPYC, the universities should give normal marksheets without the COVID-19 mark, as it will hamper students' lifetime. Further, students affiliated with a college or university, who are working on ground or assisting the concerned authorities to tackle the situation should get the payment through the earn and learn scheme. This will prompt many students to come out and work during the present crisis.