Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct national level apex authorities to endorse the decision taken by the state government regarding the cancellation of final year/semester examinations of professional courses and issue universities necessary guidelines in this regard. The state government, on June 18, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, had decided not to conduct the final year/semester examinations of non-professional as well as professional courses and award degrees based on the formula to be decided by the universities. Further, an option would be given to students who wish to take examinations whenever it is feasible to be held.
''The state government’s decision with respect to professional courses should be endorsed by the respective apex authorities, such as the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE), Council of Architecture (COA), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), Bar Council of India (BCI), National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE)and National Council For Hotel Management and Catering Technology. Also, necessary guidelines to the universities must be issued in this regard,'' Thackeray said in his letter to the PM dated June 25.
Thackeray's move aims to avoid any confrontation with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who had objected to the cancellation of final year examinations. In his letter to CM, the governor had said that the students of Medicine, Architecture, Law and other courses needed to register themselves with their respective professional bodies/councils after the completion of the professional course so as to get their license to practice. These bodies may not be able to register the students without them being evaluated on the established parameters.
Thackeray, in his letter to the PM, explained that the pandemic in Maharashtra has created many challenges for students pursuing higher education in the state. ''As you are aware, the state has recorded the highest number of cases in the country and the number is increasing in all the major cities like Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), Pune Metropolitan Region, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nashik, Akola and Palghar,'' he noted. Both students and parents are concerned about the final year/semester examinations of the academic year 2019-20 and the commencement of next academic calendar 2020-21. ''The present atmosphere is not yet conducive to conduct any examinations and classes. Further, conducting examinations amidst the existing pandemic may prove to be an enormous task for the district and municipal administration, examining authorities and transport authorities besides students and parents. You might recall that I had requested you to direct authorities regarding the issuing of uniform guidelines with respect to the cancellation of final year/semester examinations during the video conference meeting of the CMs held on June 16,'' he added.
Thackeray further stated that except the final year/semester, the state has implemented the University Grant Commission guidelines regarding the conducting of examinations and new academic calendar. ''However, it was decided to hold the final year/semester examination in the month of July this year,'' he added.