Final-year exams: UGC asks states to adopt revised guidelines

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) will ask all states to adopt the revised guidelines on the final-year exams, even if they had announced cancellation earlier, a senior officer of the higher education regulator said on Wednesday.

The UGC this week announced compulsory exams for final-year students based on the recommendations of an internal committee. Following this, the Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister wrote to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, stating that in his opinion the July 6 guidelines are not mandatory but “mere advisory like the earlier guidelines”. However, UGC Secretary Rajneesh Jain told Rajya Sabha TV on Wednesday that the regulator will ask state governments that had earlier canceled exams to reconsider their decision. Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh had scrapped examinations in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. Of these, only Maharashtra has expressed unwillingness to conduct exams after the Union government said it was compulsory.

“We have learned that some state governments have announced that examinations will not be held. If we (UGC) have issued guidelines, then all states and all universities will have to adopt it. The states which have made announcements, we will ask them to reconsider it,” Jain said to Rajya Sabha TV.

On Wednesday, the HRD Ministry issued SOPs to conduct final-year exams, which include wearing masks and gloves and disinfection of the test center’s floors and walls, doors, gates.

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