By announcing the cancellation of final year examination and promotion of students on the basis of an aggregate marking system, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has yet again hinted that he will run the government based on what he feels is right rather than following diktats issued by the Raj Bhavan. Thackeray has preferred not to act on the communication sent by Governor BS Koshyari on May 22, which stated that not conducting the final year examinations would amount to the breach of the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.’’ By doing so, he has, thereby, put students' lives over the governor’s directive.
Further, the governor had taken strong objection against Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant for urging the UGC to cancel the examinations. However, Thackeray preferred not to put the lives of lakhs of students at risk by holding the examination amidst pandemic and chose to set aside stipulated rules and regulation in the larger interest. “I held a meeting with the vice chancellor yesterday regarding the final year university examinations. They unanimously said that the present circumstances do not allow for examinations to be held immediately, as it is risky for lakhs of students to come together for exams,’’ Thackeray said in his web address on Sunday.
It is, therefore, decided that students will get aggregate marks based on their performance in the previous semesters for that academic year. “This is because there is no clarity on when the exams can be held. The future of students should not be kept hanging because of this,” he added.
The governor, in his communication, had said that conferring degrees to students without undertaking any kind of examinations would adversely impact their higher studies, gradation and employability. However, Thackeray has provided a solution. “If a student wants to appear for the final exams to improve their previous performance, they can be given an opportunity in September, October or November, based on how the situation evolves,’’ he viewed.
This is the second time Thackeray hinted that when it comes to running the government, he is the boss. On May 20, Thackeray had skipped the meeting convened by the governor to review the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the state government’s containment strategy. Although he deputed the chief secretary and other secretaries for the same, he also sent his close confidant Milind Narvekar to attend the meeting.
Moreover, Thackeray has also indicated that he is not in a mood to entertain the governor’s proposal to make the Raj Bhavan an independent establishment on the lines of the judiciary and the legislative secretariat. Koshyari has sought the delinking of the administration of the Raj Bhavan from the state’s General Administration Department (GAD) under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Koshyari’s office has sought transfer of powers to decide on appointments, transfers and other service-related matters of the staff deployed at Raj Bhavan. However, Thackeray through the state administration, has sent out a strong signal to the Raj Bhavan that the governor's proposal was not in keeping with the prevalent recruitment rules and will not give in to it.
He has also hinted that he is there for a long haul and, thus, cannot be taken for a ride.