Punjab and Rajasthan ask Centre to review UGC guidelines on conducting exams

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Rajasthan and Punjab governments, the two Congress ruled states, have opposed the advisory of the University Grants Commission asking the states to conduct final year college and university examinations by September.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has decided to write a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi seeking review of the UGC directive saying that in the prevailing Covid situation it would not be appropriate to hold college and university examinations.

“We cannot risk the health of our students and, therefore, a pragmatic approach must be adopted,” Singh said in a tweet.

Rajasthan government is taking legal opinion on the UGC directive to conduct the final year college and university exams by September, said state’s higher education minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati on Thursday.

“In this situation when the COVID cases are rising rapidly, it is not feasible to conduct the exams,” said Bhati. He added that a final decision regarding the exams would be taken by chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

Lakhs of under graduate and post graduate students across the country are faced with uncertainty as the state governments and the UGC differ over holding of final year exams in colleges and universities. Students in several universities such as Delhi University have sought no examination citing Covid fear.

The UGC had in a statement issued on Monday announced that exams for final year students must be conducted by September.

The union home ministry has also given permission for conduct of the exams, saying the final exams must be compulsorily conducted as per UGC guidelines.

Rajasthan, Punjab and six other state governments had decided to cancel exams in colleges and universities. Students were to be promoted based on their performance in internal tests. The UGC has asked the states to reconsider their decision.

Asked how the students would be promoted, Rajasthan higher education minister said the assessment would based on the average of their first and second year results.

“We are working on that. We have sought suggestions from universities on how the assessment can be done, said Bhati.