Ever since the University Grants Commission (UGC) came out with a fresh set of guidelines for exams across the country, it has been facing major opposition, especially as it mandated universities to conduct final-year examinations by September, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Students have expressed reservations on certain points stated in the revised UGC guidelines. Many students have been demanding complete scrapping of the guidelines. India TV Digital spoke to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, placing all such concerns before him, who is at the helm of education affairs in the country.
When asked about the opposition to UGC guidelines, the minister said he has been keeping a close eye on all the suggestions that are coming in. Nishank has repeatedly been stressing on the safety of students and also ensuring quality education. Earlier, when the aspirants of JEE Main and NEET had demanded postponement of the examinations, the minister had stepped forward to take a decision.
Meanwhile, the UGC guidelines have also been challenged in the Supreme Court. Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and Yuva Sena President Aaditya Thackeray moved the top court and requested that each university may be allowed to chart out its own plan of action with respect to terminal semester/final year examinations depending on the conditions in their respective states so as to provide relief to students.
"We are keeping close eye on the suggestions that are coming in from students. Students that "have merit" will be looked into. We will be holding meetings and then decide on those suggestions," HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank told India TV Digital.
At least 30 students from 13 states and one union territory are also set to move the apex court seeking relief for lakhs of students. The UGC, recently said over 450 universities have either conducted their final examinations or are planning to do so in offline or online mode. The higher education regulator said it received response from 640 universities including 120 deemed ones, 229 private universities, 40 central universities and 251 state universities. Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Delhi have expressed reservations against the examination plan, citing the COVID-19 situation.
WHAT DO STUDENTS SAY