EXCLUSIVE: No change in exam guidelines, says UGC amid strong opposition from students over final-year exams

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has been receiving a fiery backlash over the revised guidelines as lakhs of students across the country continue to protest the decision mandating universities to conduct final-year examinations by September-end. Students from all over India are taking to Twitter to voice their dissapointment over certain points of contention. Infact, the matter has now reached the Supreme Court. India TV placed all such concerns before UGC Secretary Professor Rajnish Jain. 

Taking a firm stand, he said that the regulatory body was not going to make any changes to the revised set of guidelines while also stating that the safety and security of students was of prime importance. “There is no change in our stand as of now. The guidelines remain the same,” he told India TV Digital. 

Universities have been asked to conduct final-year examinations by September-end and they are free to hold exams via any mode prescribed by the UGC. It is upto them to select the mode of examinations. And, safety and security of students is definitely of prime importance to us,” Jain added. 

Clearly, UGC is in no mood to budge, at least not now. More developments will emerge on Monday when the country’s top court hears out pleas challenging the UGC guidelines. At least 31 students from different universities across 13 states and one union territory have knocked the doors of the country’s highest judicial forum in order to seek relief. The petition seeks cancellation of the final-year examinations and that the results should be decided by July 31 on the basis of their internal assessment or past performance as coronavirus cases are on the rise. One of the students among this petitioners is a COVID-19 positive patient. The plea also seeks directions to the UGC to adopt a CBSE model and conduct an examination at a later date for the students who are not satisifed with the marks awarded on the basis of assessment.

Recently, the UGC said that it received responses from 818 universities — 212 deemed universities, 291 private universities, 51 central universities, and 355 state universities. Out of the 818 universities, 603 have either conducted examinations or are planning to. 209 others have already conducted examination, the UGC said, adding that 394 are planning to conduct exams in August or September.

Another petition has been filed in the apex court by final-year law student Yash Dubey, who has also sought scrapping of the final-year exams. Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray also moved the court on behalf of Yuva Sena against the exams in the wake of rising coronavirus cases. 

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