The University Grants Commission (UGC) in wake of states canceling final year university exams has said that states are not permissible to do this and commission does have the power to take action. Asking state universities to follow the revised guidelines, UGC has said that states are legally bound to follow its guidelines.
"As per the UGC Act, State governments cannot take this decision. Unlike school education, which is on the State list, higher education is on the concurrent list. UGC and AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) directives have to be implemented. It is there in the act," The Hindu quoted HRD Secretary Amit Khare as saying.
UGC reaction has come after Delhi became the latest state to cancel all state-level university examinations. Delhi announced this decision on Saturday.
So far states including Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal which have already cancelled exams, written to the Centre that they do not wish to conduct the exams. The latest to join the states in cancelling university examination is Delhi.
However, UGC earlier directed states to conduct final year examinations by September end in online or offline mode. The regulatory body also asked states to follow revised guidelines on conducting examinations.
Amid this, Madhya Pradesh which had earlier cancelled the exams, took a u-turn and said it will now conduct exams while Rajasthan, Haryana who have also cancelled the exams are yet to take a decision as per the fresh UGC guidelines.
"Consider the future if degrees are granted without any assessment. Even if final term degrees are granted now without exams, what will happen to the next term? If COVID continues for a year, will we start granting degrees without exams for years together?" The Hindu quoted HRD Secretary.
UGC fresh guidelines issued in April
The UGC, on April 27, directed all the universities to conduct exams. Final-year examinations in universities will have to be conducted by September-end, the HRD Ministry reiterated Monday (July 6), deferring the schedule from July in view of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
However, students unable to appear in final-year exams in September will get another chance and universities will conduct special exams "as and when feasible", according to revised guidelines issued by UGC.
The decision by the HRD Ministry came following a nod from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to conduct the exams as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
DUTA express disappointment on UGC revised guidelines
The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) Monday expressed its disappointment over the UGC guidelines on exams, saying that they show "complete disregard for students".
DUTA, in a statement, said it "is appalled at the manner in which the government has cleared the way for forcing a sham of an exam on students".
"An exam that has no sanctity and is discriminatory towards a large section of students is clearly being pushed with no other motive than to promote big business in the education," it said.
"The UGC and HRD Ministry have shown a complete disregard for students with the revised guidelines," it added.