University Exams: 6 states have cancelled, rest await UGC guidelines

University Exams: 6 states have cancelled, rest await UGC guidelines
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jul 6, 2020 - 1:55 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: At least six states have cancelled all exams, including final-semester ones, in their universities and colleges. Several central universities have done so as well but the rest are still waiting for the University Grants Commission’s revised guidelines on exams, admissions and academic calendar before announcing their decisions.

The states that had cancelled all university exams till Monday include Maharashtra, Odisha, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. Several central universities, including Aligarh Muslim University and the Central University of Haryana, have postponed exams. Incidentally, the committee constituted by the UGC to recommend ways to salvage the academic calendar -- including examinations and admissions -- thrown into disarray by COVID-19 was chaired by the CU Haryana Vice-Chancellor, RC Kuhad.

Several large state universities, too, have taken the same decision such as the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University and Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh.

However, Delhi University is still insisting on conducting its online open book exams for final-year students despite widespread protests and a disastrous trial run -- the OBE mock tests -- that began on Saturday.

The UGC committee led by Kuhad had submitted its guidelines in April and then been asked to “revisit” them by the minister of human resource development, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ keeping the health and safety of students in mind.

States, university exams, evaluation

The first state to cancel all exams was Maharashtra. It first cancelled all exams except the final-semester ones and then cancelled those too. It next cancelled exams for all technical courses as well.

Several other states and major universities followed. In each case, the state or university has delineated an alternative assessment system which typically includes a mix of internal assessment and previous semesters’ scores.

Over the weekend, two states announced they were cancelling exams. Punjab’s chief minister, Cap Amrinder Singh did so on Saturday saying The chief minister said that the students will be promoted on the basis of the results they achieved the previous year. But they will also have an option of taking the exams at a later date. He also said that universities which are conducting online exams will continue to do so.

The students will be promoted on the basis of their previous years' results and will also have an option to take the exams later, Singh announced in his weekly 'AskCaptain' Facebook live.

Rajasthan too on Saturday decided to cancel all exams. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, "The order is applicable to all undergraduate and masters degree programs and in all types of the institute including engineering."

Exam cancelled in universities

The other universities in the states are still awaiting the UGC guidelines.

Calcutta University which has also called for cancelling the exams said that the students will be graded on performance. For marking students in the final semester, the university will consider the average of their scores in the previous semester exams for 80 out of 100 marks. The remaining 20 will be for internal assessment.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s higher education department on Monday formed a committee to address the university semester exams and the final exams. The state too is waiting for the guidelines from the UGC.

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