640 Universities responded for holding varsity exams amid COVID-19 pandemic: UGC

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Yesterday, the University Grant Commission (UGC) said that over six hundred and forty universities have responded about holding varsity exams in the middle of the COVID-19 situation going on in the nation. 

About UGC

In line with the UGC Act under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Government of India set up a statutory body named the University Grant Commission of India or UGC India. The commission is in charge of the determination, coordination, and maintenance of standards of higher education. Recognition of universities in India is provided by UGC. The payment of funds to these recognized colleges and universities are also provided by UGC itself. the motto which is believed by the commission is “Gyan-Vigyan Vimuktaye” which means knowledge and science liberates.  The chairman of UGC is D.P. Singh. Its formation was done on 28th December of 1953.

About exam conduction

“Universities were approached to inform the status of the conduct of the examination. Response received from 640 universities. Out of these, 454 have either conducted the examination or are planning to conduct. 177 universities are yet to decide on the conduct of the examination,” said UGC.

The first batch of the twenty-seven private universities which have been established between now from 2019 – 2020, is yet to become permitted for the final examination, UGC said in a further statement.

Because of the worsening pandemic situation, the states were canceling even the final year examinations of the universities. As a response to this, UGC said that the states are not allowed to take this huge step and the commission does not possess the power to take an action. Because of all this UGC stated some guidelines regarding the same and asked the state universities to strictly follow these revised guidelines by saying that the states are legally bounded to follow the UGC’s guidelines. So, on the 6th of July, the revised examination guidelines were issued which said that it is mandatory to hold final year exams in universities and colleges by the end of September. It was previously announced in April that the conduction of examination will be by the end of July.  The commission stated that future progress, academic credibility, and career opportunities of students are directly linked to exams.  

The students of Ist and IInd year were scratched out from appearing in examinations. it has been decided that they will be evaluated based on their performance in internals and the previous semester. 

Mr. Amit Khare who is the Secretary of HRD said that “As per the UGC Act, State governments cannot take this decision. Unlike school education, which is on the State list, higher education is on the concurrent list. UGC and AICTE directives have to be implemented. It is there in the act.” {Source: The Hindu}

All the state-level examinations of universities were lately canceled by Delhi, and UGC reacted just after this decision.

Delhi University, Centre, and UGC wee asked by Delhi High Court for replying to a plea challenging the guidelines that made it compulsory for the colleges to hold final year examinations by the end of September because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kabir Sachdeva is a student of Delhi University who applied the plea which challenged the revised guideline of the UGC regarding the conduction of final year examinations by the end of September through online, offline, or a mixed-method being mandatory.  

Viewing the horrifying situation of coronavirus pandemic, states like West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, and Punjab have expressed their disagreement against the examination plan. 

Schools, colleges, and universities have been shut closed since mid-March as Centre announced nationwide classroom shutdown as one of the most crucial measures against coronavirus pandemic. In view of the circumstances, several restrictions on schools and colleges have been eased and they have been asked to remain shut until further notice. 

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