After two days of interaction among the 13 vice chancellors and the Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant and his deputy Prajakt Tanpure, a consensus has emerged -- final-year examinations will be held in the first week of October.
In what is clearly a relief for nearly 7.92 lakh students, they need not physically come to 4,500 colleges and 3,500 examination centres but can appear online, from home.
Samant said the Supreme Court, in its ruling, had given states the option to approach the University Grants Commission and seek their postponement beyond September 30, due to the raging pandemic.
"The vice-chancellors of the 13 non-agricultural universities in the state have decided to seek an extension till October 31 from the UGC. They have urged that the meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority headed by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray be convened soon; the authority must give its nod for seeking an extension,’’ he added.
“Students have doubts about when the exams will start. We had said from Day one that it will not happen that exams are announced abruptly and are held the next day. Students will get all of September for preparation and possibly the examinations will be held in the first week of October. Some universities will announce their results by October 31 and others, by November 10,” said Samant.
"A request has been made to the vice-chancellors to ensure that students do not have to leave their homes and appear for examinations,’’ said the minister. It was also requested that all universities should ensure that students are not physically and mentally disturbed. He added that a six-member Committee, headed by the Mumbai University VC Dr Suhas Pednekar, is working overtime to come up with recommendations.
“The vice-chancellors and the Pednekar Committee have requested for one more day for discussions. A meeting will be held on Wednesday at 4pm to decide how the exams will be conducted. After that, another proposal will be submitted to the government,” said Samant.
He reiterated that the VCs have been unanimous in their view that students should be allowed to appear for their exams from home. "Examining 7,92,385 students in the midst of the corona crisis is very challenging,’’ he noted.