End-of-term exams in colleges and educational institutions — pending since March because of the lockdown to slow the coronavirus infection — can now be held, maintaining all safety measures, the Union Home Ministry has said. The ministry has written to the Higher Education Secretary, permitting the long pending exams as part of Unlock 2 – the second phase of lifting the restrictions.
The final term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC Guidelines and academic calendar for the Universities and as per the Standard Operating Procedure approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the letter said.
So far, several states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Haryana cancelled all higher education exams and decided to promote students on the basis of previous performances.
Recently, the Gujarat government reversed its decision to conduct final year examinations, within hours of announcing it.
The Rajasthan government has cancelled under-graduate and post-graduate exams in all state universities.
Yesterday, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” had asked the University Grants Commission to “revisit” the academic calendar and guidelines released in April. The foundation for revisited guidelines will be “health and safety students, teachers, and staff”, Mr. Pokhriyal said on social media.
The University Grants Commission, or UGC, is now expected to release a new academic calendar and revised guidelines for exams.
The pandemic has caused widespread disruption in the academic schedule. With schools shut since March, the board exams in most states were cancelled and the students were internally assessed on the basis of past performances.
Students have been demanding that the competitive entrance exams for engineering and medical studies, scheduled to be held this month, be cancelled. There has been no announcement on the matter yet.