A file photo of former UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat. | Photo: Commons
A file photo of former UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat. | Photo: Commons
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New Delhi: Former University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Sukhadeo Thorat has called the panel’s 6 July decision to compulsorily hold final-year examinations for college and university students as “unfortunate”.

In a letter to UGC chairman Dhirendra Pal Singh Thursday, Thorat reiterated demands by students across the country to cancel the exams. The letter’s other signatories included around 28 professors from various institutes across the country, including Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“The UGC’s latest advisory on examinations is unfortunate because it takes us backwards rather than forward. It effectively extends the period for holding of exams (for final-year/semester cohorts) until September, the second such postponement. And it creates fresh uncertainty for states that had already decided to cancel exams,” the letter read.

“The recommendation to cancel exams was prompted by an unprecedented health emergency, not by doubts about the value of examinations,” the letter said.

Throat argued that the uncertainty of Covid-19 pandemic will create the “genuine need” of repeated postponements, which can be avoided altogether by adopting alternative methods of evaluation, including past performance of students.

“Using alternative methods of evaluation based on each student’s own past performance (in exams conducted in normal times) offers a fair solution and brings closure, with the option of retaking the exam when normalcy is restored,” the letter said.

Thorat was the UGC chairman between 2006 and 2011.


Also read: Delhi High Court directs Delhi University to give schedule for final year UG exams


‘Online or mixed modes will be biased’

In his letter, Sukhadeo Thorat said cancelling the exams will help in protecting their “integrity” as the online mode may not give equal opportunities to all examinees, and lack close supervision to prevent cheating.

The UGC’s revised guidelines suggest holding final-year examinations in online, offline, or blended mode.

“When faced with such an emergency, cancelling exams has two main advantages: First, it avoids the extended uncertainty created by repeated (but unavoidable) postponements. Second, it protects the integrity of the examination by refusing to abandon its two most basic features – impartiality, or equal treatment of all examinees; and close supervision to prevent cheating.”

The letter argued that cancelling exams during a pandemic is “sensible” and “fair” because examinations must not be “devalued”.

“Those who argue that cancelling exams will devalue degrees must explain how holding a farcical “virtual” exam that lacks the basic features of the real thing will enhance their value,” it said.

“Given the realities facing the overwhelming majority of our students and institutions, examinations held in the “online” or “mixed” modes will be biased as they will favour students with better access to the internet and work against students whose access is precarious,” it added.


Also read: Go online but don’t go overboard — how Karnataka panel wants govt to regulate classes


 

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30 Comments Share Your Views

30 COMMENTS

  1. I, Sakshi Sharma, I have got above 60% marks in my b. Pharma course but utu given me repetedly back exam on particular two subject. My dream was to do M. Pharma. But my dream has been made incomplete by the utu.

    Please promote me in my daod subject one for second year and other on third year.

    Sakshi Sharma

  2. Please promote Telangana degree final year final Semister examination otherwise will face critical situations of covid19

  3. Many students in big city universities are from other state like WB , NE , Ladakh rural area etc and in sudden lock down they left the room/pg even they had not collected their books etc from PG rooms . They are already in mental stress & PG owener demanding fee , other wise take luggage but far from college & transport problems in other state it’s not possible to collect the luggage , books from room . How they will give exaim in these conditions . SAVE STUDENTS FROM COVID & MENTAL STRESS

    • My story 😢 i have not taken my books with me and also left all my essentials in the rented room .I have to pay for the rent too and now this exam 😥 .

  4. My private University conducted online exams in June already n they already failed me in one subject. I m a top student of my class.
    Students who were below then average promoted even with E grades and I haven’t got any grade from A to E but they just failed me.
    I prepared really hard for my exams. Its unbelievable for me to digest this.
    And now UGC has postponeded the exams in September end , now how will I be able to take admission in my master’s degree???
    How will I go to university to give my re-exam in this pendemic ???
    This is injustice, plz do something n promote us, cancel the online biased exams that held already n failed students biasedly.

  5. Please cancel the Final year exam of all samaster ye galat hoga final year students ke sath ki Aap 1 ,2 year wale students ko bina exam ke pass kar rahe ho or final year ke exam karwa rahe hai ye galat hai ager exam honge to sabhi ke honge or nahi honge to kisi ke bhi exam nahi honge

  6. BJP government should rethink about its decision to conduct exams for university students as the COVID virus is Air borne, can cause serious health issues in students with compromised Immune system .

  7. It’s great to have the final exams if possible and no student wants to get a degree or qualification without a final exam. It’s a difficult situation, but the UGC needs to evaluate the extraordinary circumstances of the current situation facing the students. Its like an Act of God situation which everyone including the students, authorities like the UGC is facing. Some of them are stated below:
    1. Most students have not been able to finish their semester studies as the their classes were not held.
    2. The online classes in most govt colleges were not held properly.
    3. DU online mock exams were a failure with wrong papers, problems online etc. Obviously, it’s not easy to go online flawlessly in such a short time.
    4. Most of the students are expected to complete studies on their own for an exam.
    5. DU is not ready even now to conduct an online exam after 2 postponements.
    6. The Internet connectivity in the country is not stable with vast variations in bandwidth and reach across the country. In certain states there is poor Internet anyway and especially in the rural areas
    7. The power situation in the country is not stable with repeated power outages which bring down the Internet connectivity even though one may have power backup through invertor or generator at the last mile.
    8. Outstation students have gone to their hometowns which may or may not have necessary infrastructure. They are facing an unprecedented scenario where they are being asked to vacate residences where they were staying even though they are physically not there.
    9. Candidates who are Persons with Disabilities find it very difficult under normal circumstances and in these circumstances, its even more difficult.
    10. International students are in utter turmoil having being left in the lurch.
    11. Financial hurdles with loans outstanding are faced by international as well as local students who are not able to move ahead.
    12. Most students who had job offers at Campus are facing a situation where the job offers have been rescinded by employers.
    13. Most students have no job certainty in the near future and like point 12 how will they get any job if they now are being made to wait endlessly for a degree.
    14. for those students intending to study further, their entire career is now at stake because of indecisiveness.

    The DU authorities told the court that the last postponement was due to some unprecedented situation. Will this go away in a couple of months from now that the UGC is taking a call. Can they say with certainty that come what may it will happen in august or September. The sad situation is that no one can because no one has a medical solution to the coronavirus.

    UGC and DU SHOULD GO AHEAD WITH THE EXAM IF THEY CAN WITHIN A DEFINITE TIME FRAME BUT SHOULD NOT GO AHEAD IF THE TIME FRAME IS INDEFINITE. HOW LONG SHOULD A STUDENT Wait? IT WAS SUPPOSED TO END IN MAY NOW IT IS SEPTEMBER. IS THE UGC CONFIDENT OF FINISHING IN SEPTEMBER? IF NOT, THEY MUST TAKE A JUDICIOUS CALL IN THE OVERALL INTERESTS OF EVERYONE CONCERNED.

    Please note that in situations which are globally unprecedented, the calls should be taken quickly since the mental health of the students with all the uncertainty is also getting adversely affected. Its sad that a premier body with supposedly the best brains in the country are acting as if they are in control when the situation is only getting worse by the day. Everyone should question the judgment of the UGC in these circumstances and force a decision. If exams have to be held the date should not change or be extended any more. If not, the decision on how to award marks has to be considered and close the chapter.
    No employer gives employment without an interview and the onus of acquiring the last semester knowledge anyway has been passed onto the students…

    So why wait. UGC and DU…. Please take a call. Be decisive. Take a call.

  8. We are in very crucial condition. Dont play with students life. Syllubus didnot completed so how to write exam in this condition. Online classes didn’t reached clearly. Health is importent. If you conduct final year exams you must take students responsible. We have so many problems. Ex:some students come from containment zone. Inter district and out of state traveling for taking exam. Transportation problems. They Where would stayInter district and out of state students. So take this subject seriously. The ugc guideline is incorrect. Cheating to final year students.. We want justice, please promote us..

  9. Kaysy kaysy loog hi ugc my samag my naghi aata loogo ko students ky bary my soochna chahy ki jab student 6 months at kooi class hi naghi keya too Examination woo kaya dayga
    Avee ky samay my woo apne jaan bachy ki Examination dy
    Kaya ugc ya bata sakta hi ki September my covid sy students surachit hi aur jab ya nahi bata sakty too wy loog ku bena work ky saylaree home to work kar lay raghy hi

  10. Sir plz cancel the uGC exams promote all the students based on their internal Mark’s not take risk at this pandemic situation.

  11. Also pass final year and final semester exam. This time not to take examination situation.please promote sir.All the students willingly waiting final semester exam for 5 months.

  12. Well said Kritika, you have explained everything and the situation, helplessness and importance.
    Many are selected in campus and companies are waiting for results.
    August and September are joining months.
    None of the students want to give up but you know better, the world wide situation is not favorable to attend the exam.
    Students have passed all 7 semesters , usually in 8th semester students are on project submission and attending internship.
    8th semester is just a conclusive year and students have hardly get any upgradation in sgpa.
    So pls don’t play with carrier of students.
    Students are already in huge stress due to lockdown and uncertainty of their future.
    Pls give smile to them.

  13. Can we think once at least of the quality of education? Retired or in office academicians need to see the efforts by the UGC and give suggestions to enhance the decision rather than act like petty politicians.

    We need to work on making online exam possible and authentic. Learn from the universities worldwide.

    This is a great opportunity to change paradigms.

    Officials holding high ranking posts should maintain the dignity and respect of the office.

    Indulgence in bickering doesn’t help Education.

  14. This indecisiveness has greatly affected us international Students its been long overdue for us now to be tossed back and forth in this foreign land of which our budgets have gone off limits now. Each and every decision you are coming up with I don’t see any being considerate and inclusive to accomodate us foreign students. We been here all along for 2 years now without being close to our families of which our fellow students don’t care cause they are home so you can imagine the fear of unknown which is griping us day and night as we wait for these exams and you keep on postponing them to September of which you are also not certain what September would bring in terms of the number of covid 19 cases which keep on increasing now especially here in Maharashtra. Cancel the exams or else give us foreign students online exams so that we can write finish and go. We are even scared if we tend to get this disease here who will be there for us? And what kind of treatment can we get? How about our emotional support now?

  15. Granting degrees with out exams means degrees will lose their sanctity. Who will employ them? Do you expect employers to test for themselves? Then there will be multiple tests which aspirants need to take for their progression life.
    Majority opinion can not decide life. Only capability to survive tests decides progress in life.

  16. Please cancel the final sem exam too..we are staying in PG and simply wasting money and time. No one care it. If you take online how can everyone give exam most of them have not Internet connection or may be problem of power. Please consider it. Most of guys have gone to native how can they return to attend exam. Please think and realise the problem of final sem too. What ugc think.. After giving exam only u can analyse students performance in this pandemic situation. U mean final sem student are different from intermediate sem… Waah ugc…according to ugc final Sem student will not be affected by corona. This is like fully unfair. Please consider all these things and cancel the exam. In this situation u will not cancel then when will you cancel exam.

  17. I am a final year student of mangalour university. And I am resided in Kerala. Traveling from Kerala to mangalore in such a situation is dangerous . They can assess final year students on the basis of internal exams or previous semester exams. Why they are playing with the life of students. Exams are not much improtant than the life of a student. We had done with all the previous exams and why they cannot assess the students based on that. They are risking the health and safety of the students in the name of these exams.

  18. What kind of injustice is this?
    Our lives doesn’t matter? imagine students going through this situation, for instance if they’re interested for higher studies in private universities, they won’t wait for students to graduate as they’ll conduct exam for admission. Hence students won’t be able to get admission when they work hard also.
    Another factor is for the students who have backlog, they’re more worried about their jobs now, as this pandemic has made aware of job security and risks where they’re getting into and certain universities have even evaluated the back paper and most of them didn’t clear it. And they need to appear for exam and clear it off. It’s not joke and everyone knows that all lives are important, which are not meant to be played with.
    What if the student gets contacted with the virus during examination? Will the UGC come and help us?
    Cancel final year exams both the terminal sem as well as backs! It’s for betterment of the future

  19. I request the UGC to take a historical decision which will remain in minds of generations, and will prepare the future road maps for one and all if the necessity arise. Iam a PG final year student of Mumbai university, i have some immediate plans after acquiring my master’s degree, which will be in jeopardy if a year is wasted.
    I bet the UGC chair person and advisories that not a single student on the earth would like to accept the degrees without giving examination and in past have any universities in this universe given or distributed degrees or certificates to normal students, it goes against the ethics of students as well as universities, but the scenario is different this time, it’s hard time for everyone, iam striving to save my job in this trying situation and completely fade out and tired, I cannot concentrate on my studies as well. I request the UGC respected delegates to just rethink about this grave situation and don’t play with the lives of lakhs of students. Thankd

  20. UGC should cancil the final sem exam becouse in bangalore many street are sealed because of only the cases are increasing and Karnataka government are doing lockdown then how the UGC is conducting exam

  21. Sorry sir hum sare students exam k liye apni jaan k sath nhi khel sakte so please understand us and cancelled the exams.thank you ugc also please understand us. Life is more imp. Than exam 15 lakh students se 150 coror infected ho sakte hai covid19 se india me or isi tarah india corona se agle 4,5 saal tak grasitt hi rehne vala hai fir karva lijiyega aap araam se sbke exams

  22. हमारा कहना केवल इतना है कि जब लगभग 100या 150 एक्टिव केस थे तब सारी परीक्षाएं रद्द कर दी गई,,,,,किन्तु अब 6लाख से अधिक केस है तो अब परीक्षा कराना कैसे सुरक्षित होगा।
    यदि किसी छात्र या छात्रा के जीवन पर कोई आंच आती है तो कौन उत्तरदाई होगा।
    अतः हमारा विनम्र निवेदन है कि सभी छात्र छात्राओं को पिछली कक्षा के प्रदर्शन के अनुसार अग्रिम कक्षा में प्रोन्नत कर दिया जाए।

  23. Sir final semester ka exam cancelled kare koi covid19 ki sankhiya badhate ja rahi hai bhut logo ka kahana hai ki final semester ka exam nahi huwa to degree amanya rahega to hame bataye ki cbsc ka jo exam bina exam ka jo pass kar diya kya yo mananiy rahegi ya aamayan rahega Mayan rah to final year ka bhi Mayan rahega pless cancel me sir pichhle semester ka number dekar pass kar diya jaaye

  24. Recently various governments announced about the cancellation of university’s and college’s exam due to covid19 situation/pandemic.
    gr8 step taken.
    bt ugc is in not favor/why so??,all are passed expect final semester student’s??
    So it’s my urge you to please pass the remaining final year students (many are not able to give online exam due to certain reasons)
    so further we can do M.tech/MBA or fill up the forms for govt. jobs.
    The situation of covid19 is not under control & it will be not safe to give offline exam at all (100%).
    cases are increasing in day, students will travel from there home’s to give exam’s and who will be responsible for that sir.
    think logically,making decisions in quickly is putting the future of students in dark.during this covid19 pandemic health is first priority
    all are getting passed expect final semester student’s,those who have given exams from right starting and come upto end.
    but the cruelly decision showing towards the final semester are very rough and mean.
    if you are saying that ,if you pass, all the remaining students of final year then the degree will not be valid at all , seriously???
    in that case let me remind you ,all are being promoted , including cbse board students. then their marksheet will not be valid as they are passed without paper’s due to covid19.
    what you are thinking no nobody knows at all.
    due to this covid19 pandemic you should pass all the students of final year & generate notice ,that all students are being promoted &in future they should not face any type of difficult in getting job.
    we are all helpless in front of natural pandemic.god have given this position and opportunity to help others in every good and bad situations, don’t miss use that situation.
    When the situation become normal ,if students wishes to improve marks of final semester ,he/she can appear later on.
    So, marking should be done on the basis of : 80% weightage should be considered on the basis of best aggregate % obtained by the candidate in any one of the previous semester’s result &20% on internal assessment’s during the current semester.
    or any other pattern as per your wish.
    Many of us had applied for online mode of final exam but were not able to give as internet was too slow to run the exam properly.
    #Due to certain reason’s many of us were not give able to give final online exam and for that we are extremely sorry but someone have internet problem because of very slow speed (till date)/someone don’t have sufficient facility at home due to covid19.
    We will be highly grateful to you if you take a step to pass the remaining student’s of final year so that our year don’t get waste.
    There are still remote area’s in India where internet access is not at par .
    Many students could not attend live lectures & they don’t have sufficient materials to study .
    in this pandemic situation ,we are going through a lot of stress,please cope up with us .
    We request you only for the 8th semester ,so that degree will be completed on time & we can join our respective companies and pg courses,also we can’t even fill any form,year will simply get waste because of just few paper’s of final year.
    you know well that in final year , students had reached by passing all the previous semester’s
    you are passing 1,2,3 year student having less experience then final one
    hrd minster is also saying, passing students of final year will decrease the valve of degree, then what about those students who are pass , including cbse students,
    in covid health is first priority
    exam will be part of students untill they get job,we will definitely work hard in future
    bt in this huge pandemic pass us, please pass the final year/semester student’s
    taking into consideration of covid19 situation
    thanking you

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