The worry of students seems to not be over soon as after UGC now All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), told the Bombay High Court that the council has asked them not to cancel final year examinations and conduct them through online, the offline or blended mode because of University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.
On July 6, UGC issued revised guidelines and decided not to cancel the final year examination and advised institutions to conduct these exams by the end of September. The regulator said these exams can be conducted in online, offline, or blended mode. Since then it has received criticism for their move as the pandemic is still the biggest problem and where the government is appealing to people to stay at home UGC is more towards conducting exams of the students.
AICTE filed an affidavit in response to a PIL, filed by a retired professor and Pune resident Dhananjay Raghunath Kulkarni, which stated the University Grants Commission (UGC) was the regulating authority in such matters, and the state was not empowered to decide the mode of assessment for final-year students, and hence the June 19 government resolution (GR) should be set aside and quashed.
The affidavit released by AICTE in response said that the council will be following safety guidelines issued by UGC since it considers the necessity of conducting exams and also the health and safety of the students.
“In view of this, the AICTE requested all deemed universities, technical institutions and polytechnics affiliated to AICTE to follow the UGC guidelines to conduct examinations in offline (pen and paper) or online or blended (offline plus online) mode” reads the affidavit.
The state government had already said to cancel all the exams in the view of the virus “decided to cancel exams in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and due to the risk of spread of the virus through the paper.”
There are 7, 34,516 final year students in non-professional courses and 2, 83,937 students in their final year in professional courses in Maharashtra who are waiting for a final decision on their exams.