Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, also president of Yuvasena, has appealed to the Supreme Court through his organization, to direct universities to chart out their own plan of action vis-à-vis their final year examinations. The appeal said that this should depend on the local conditions (regarding the COVID spread) in their respective states to provide relief to students.
This challenges the University Grants Commission’s decision to hold final year university exams.
Thackeray has submitted: “Even in this highly worrying time, the Government of India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) Minister and University Grants Commission (UGC) have announced that final year examinations be conducted in India by universities in the month of September 2020, keeping in mind the adoption of its guidelines, but ignoring the physical and mental health, anxiety and safety of students across the country. The 31 guidelines that the UGC had announced for conducting these exams will not be effective given the severity of this pandemic.”
Bearing in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has assumed monstrous proportions in India, and in the interest of students, the Yuvasena has written letters to the UGC and the MHRD, on May 9 and July 7 requesting them to have the final year examinations cancelled and students be promoted to the next year by evaluating them on the basis of average marks.
The petition also points out the challenges involved in conducting the exams and its procedure which include “paper checking, when to declare examination results and admissions to post graduate courses and delays therein, network connectivity issues in rural areas in case examinations are conducted online which is unfavourable to students in rural areas versus those in urban areas, risk of increased transmission of COVID-19 among students if examinations are conducted by Universities and Colleges offline i.e. involving physical presence of a large number of students in enclosed spaces.”
-India legal Bureau
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