UGC Guidelines: Edu minister again defends exams at Vice-Chancellor's meet

UGC Guidelines: Edu minister again defends exams at Vice-Chancellor's meet Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' addressing Annual AIU Vice-Chancellors conference
Abhay Anand | Aug 17, 2020 - 2:47 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Union minister of education, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has said that the decision of final year examination by the UGC has been taken keeping the future of students in mind. Once again defending the higher education regulator, University Grants Commission's decision to make final-year or final-semester exams compulsory, Pokhriyal said it was done so that students do not face any difficulty in future.

The universities have been given the option of conducting the examination in online, offline or blended mode. He said during his interaction with different universities that some of the universities have already conducted the examination or is doing it, or is doing good work during the COVID-19 pandemic as the future of children is equally important.

He was addressing the Association of Indian Universities annual vice-chancellors meet, through webinar.

UGC final-year exam guidelines

On July 6, the UGC issued exam-related guidelines asking universities to complete the final year, final semester examination by September end in offline, online or blended mode.

Several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court of India challenging the guidelines and seeking cancellation of final-year exam, which will come up for hearing tomorrow, August 18. One PIL has been filed by 31 final year students who challenged the UGC exam-related guidelines. The students appealed to the court to grant relief to final year students considering their health, safety, job and admission opportunities.

The states of Maharashtra, Delhi and Odisha have also opposed the exams and told Supreme Court that conducting them in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak will not be possible. Delhi University is holding exams but with many students facing numerous problems and glitches.

However, education ministry as well as the ministry of home affairs, in charge of managing COVID-19, have supported exams.

On NEP 2020

Pokhriyal said that the New Education Policy will strengthen India’s position as a leader on the global stage.

“We have aimed to increase GER to 50% by 2035, it's a huge target we have to achieve which would mean enrolling 3.5 crores more students,” Pokhriyal said.

The National Research Foundation (NRF), will create research culture in the country. He said, “This NEP 2020 is the foundation of nation-building. I urge you to plan how research can be improved.”

He said: “We have always been in favour of giving autonomy to universities, in the phased manner we are looking at how to improve the 45,000 degree colleges and give them autonomy. Right now only 8000 colleges have the autonomy, but in the phased manner this will be increased.”

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