Ex Cabinet Minister Dr Anees Ahmed today met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to discuss pending issue regarding final year university exams
Anees said, as on date, Maharashtra has 3, 75,799 positive cases with 1, 45,785 active cases, death toll stands at 13,656, recovery rate in the state is 56.74 per cent. Currently, 9, 08,420 people are in home quarantine and 44,276 people are in institutional quarantine.
Figures could be more in the state as only 18, 36,920 people have been tested so far.
Anees pleaded with the Governor that Governor being Chancellor of Universities, it is he who has final authority over all University matters as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act.
Anees requested the Governor to clear confusion amongst students with reference to conducting final year university exams.
Looking at increasing Covid 19 cases in the state, Anees requested Governor to issue orders for cancellation of final year degree exams of the universities in Maharashtra.
Congress leader said, Owing to the presiding confusion surrounding the dates of the examination due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many students are stranded and suffering.
Times are turbulent and unsure due to the coronavirus pandemic,” and exam dates are a ‘dangling sword of uncertainty’ for the students causing stress and anxiety. He said.
Anees said, Examinations anyway are hardly any test of a student’s ability and comprehension in a situation where normal classroom teaching has not taken place and most of them , caught in a sudden lockdown situation (often back home), lack the essential study material. Particularly, students from economically weaker and socially deprived sections will suffer the most if online exams are conducted as they often lack personal infrastructure like laptops and uninterrupted high-speed internet required to prepare for and write the online examinations, reiterated Ahmed.
*Finally, Anees said, the most important point to be emphasised is that he is not opposing the examinations (online or offline) and totally agree exams are a tool to evaluate a student’s ability but at this juncture based on serious grounds of equity, access, security and safety cancelation of exams seems the best option.
Best option according to him, he said would be to consider average marks of past semesters while awarding degree to students.
He further explained to Governor that students have jobs and further admissions at stake, they cannot eternally wait as the UGC’s recommendation for extending the exam deadlines suggests. The mental trauma this generates in such repeated postponement can destabilise any student and it will be extremely unfair to make them go through this tense process once again. Students in Maharashtra state who were told that their exams have been cancelled are out of any exam preparation mindset. To suddenly tell them now that they have to go back to an exam mode is cruel, to say the least, alleged Ahmed.
Anees requested the Governor to take the decision at the earliest in best interest of student community.