Universities, institutions allowed to conduct final-term exams: Home Ministry
The Union Home Affairs Ministry on Monday gave the go-ahead for conducting the long-pending final-term examinations at universities and other higher education institutions. The end-of-term exams, suspended due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, can be held by following necessary safety measures, it said. The move comes amid growing concerns and protests by students demanding the cancellation of exams over the rising COVID-19 cases. Here's more.
The Home Ministry gave its consent for the conduct of the end-of-term exams in a letter addressed to the Union Higher Education Secretary. These exams have to be conducted "compulsorily" as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines and the academic calendar for universities in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the letter said.
MHA, in a letter to Union Higher Education Secy, today permitted conduct of exams by universitiesinstitutions. The final Term Exams are to be compulsorily conducted as per UGC Guidelines and as per the Standard Operating Procedure approved by Union Ministry of Health: MHA pic.twitter.com/mTHWTy0GZ3— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2020
"The final Term Examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities; and as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare," stated an official release.
Ministry of Home Affairs permits the conduct of examinations by Universities and Institutions— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 6, 2020
The final Term Examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per UGC Guidelines as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by @MoHFW_INDIA
Notably, within hours of the Home Ministry's go-ahead, the "UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities" have been released. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal took to Twitter to announce the fresh UGC guidelines issued in view of the COVID-19 pandemic - according to which the terminal semester/final year exams should be held by universities or higher education institutions by September-end.
Pokhriyal tweeted, "The UGC has revisited its earlier guidelines related to university examinations." He also wrote the guidelines were revised in view of "the safety, career progression and placements of the students and their larger interests." "Evaluation of the terminal semester students which was to be done through examinations in...July, now their examinations will be conducted by the end of September 2020," he added.
The UGC has revisited its earlier guidelines related to university examinations.— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) July 6, 2020
In view of the safety, career progression and placements of the students and their larger interests, after consulting @HMOIndia and @MoHFW_INDIA, it has been decided that pic.twitter.com/evKTYPwnIa
According to the UGC's press release, the guidelines for intermediate semester/year examinations, notified earlier on April 29, will remain unchanged. The revised UGC guidelines provide for the terminal semester/final year exams to be conducted in the online, offline, or blended mode by institutions depending on feasibility and suitability. These exams will be mandatory for terminal semester/final year students having backlogs, say the fresh guidelines.
"In case a student of terminal semester/final year is unable to appear in the examination conducted by the university for whatsoever the reason(s) may be, he or she may be given opportunity to appear in special examinations," said the revised UGC guidelines. These special exams may be conducted "as and when feasible" so that such students are not put to "any inconvenience or disadvantage."