Chandigarh: Punjab Higher Education Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has written to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, requesting him to re-examine the revised guidelines issued by the HRD Ministry and University Grants Commission.
According to an official release, the revised guidelines mandate Vice-Chancellors of all universities and colleges to compulsorily conduct examinations for terminal classes/semesters of undergraduate and postgraduate courses by September 30.
In his letter, Bajwa said, “Considering the larger public interest of successfully containing the COVID-19 pandemic, allow the state government to implement its decision by not making the MHRD/UGC revised guidelines dated July 6, mandatory on the state government.”
He said that the MHRD/UGC guidelines that make the conduct of final term examination mandatory has “unnerved all the stakeholders”.
The minister said that conducting online examinations for such a large number of students, the majority of whom reside in remote rural areas without access to computers/laptops and the internet, is not possible in the state.
“At many places, the college/university buildings/hostels have been taken over by the district administration for COVID-19 management purposes such as for temporary medical camp, COVID-Care Hospital and quarantine centre. Since public transport is almost non-existent due to the COVID-19 effect, the mobility of students to their college will be severely affected,” the release said.
The minister also mentioned in his letter that Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry have also taken the decision not to conduct terminal exams. “Even IIT Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee have also cancelled their final semester exams,” he said.
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