New Delhi: The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) decision to hold final-year exams for colleges in the middle of the Covid pandemic has upset students across the country.
The UGC in their revised guidelines released Monday said all universities and colleges will have to conduct final-year exams for their students — either via online or offline mode.
Angry over the decision, students took to Twitter Tuesday to raise their concerns and soon #StudentsLivesMatter started trending on the micro-blogging site.
Since March, students from all over the country have been filing petitions on change.org, asking the government to cancel final exams.
According to data from change.org, more than 100 petitions have been filed from March until now — requesting cancellation of various college, university and entrance exams.
“UGC is playing with the lives of students. Forget their education, their life is at stake now. These frequent alterations of the guidelines is just torture. You can’t expect us to appear for exams in this situation #StudentsLivesMatters #cancelfinalyearexams ,” wrote Arya, a Twitter user.
UGC is playing with the lives of students. Forget their education, their life is at stake now. These frequent alterations of the guidelines is just torture. You can't expect us to appear for exams in this situation.#StudentsLivesMatters #cancelfinalyearexams
— Arya 🌹 (@RantingDosa) July 7, 2020
“#StudentsLivesMatters According to govt, exams are compulsory ‘more than life’ is hidden in this statement! One side they say stay home stay safe and on the other side they are ordering students to step out of their homes and go in the arms of death. What are they trying to prove (sic)”, wrote Sonali Gupta, another user.
According to govt, exams are compulsory"more than life" is hidden in this statement!
One side they say STAY HOME STAY SAFE
and on the other side they are ordering students to step out of their homes and go in the arms of death
What are they trying to prove pic.twitter.com/GY93E6rxKH
— Sonali Gupta (@sonali_gupta03) July 7, 2020
Students have also been sharing memes, opposing the UGC decision.
— Pratik Sondagar (@PratikSondagar7) July 7, 2020
Shibani Mukherjee, a Delhi University student, told ThePrint: “Just look at the irony of the situation. The same day when India was declared third worst country in terms of Covid infections, the government decides to go ahead and declare that exams are mandatory.”
Rishabh Saxena, whose daughter is in the final-year, told ThePrint: “What was the government even thinking when they decided to give a go-ahead for the exams.”
“I am not going to send my daughter for the exams. I am alright with her giving the supplementary exams later,” he added.
SFI, NSUI, AISA oppose decision
Besides students and parents, even student outfits — such as All India Students Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) — have criticised the UGC’s decision.
The SFI, in a statement released Tuesday, called the decision a “ploy to push corporate interests”.
“This directive is deeply troubling and unhelpful for the students, and represents a ploy to push exclusionary models of education backed by corporate interests. Judging by how the pandemic is going, it is almost unthinkable that examinations can be held physically while maintaining social distancing,” it added.
“It is clear by the disparities of infrastructure and the laxity generally shown towards marginalised students in government-operated institutions that neither physical distancing will be followed nor will students who stay in different places from their place of study will be able to come back and give examinations. Hence holding exams by September is a pipe dream,” the SFI said.
The AISA also issued a statement, saying: “The day India gets to the third position in the total number of Covid-19 cases in the world, UGC, MHRD, decides to bring out notification for holding final exams for terminal students at the cost of their lives! UGC Must cancel exams…”
The NSUI is also “disappointed that the government seems to have taken such a narrow view of education”.
The ABVP, which is the student wing of RSS, has, however, supported the UGC’s decision.
“ABVP welcomes UGC’s decision against scrapping of final-year examinations. ABVP has been consistent in its opinion that assessment of graduating students is crucial for their further studies or employment,” it tweeted Monday night.
ABVP welcomes UGC’s decision against scrapping of final year examinations. ABVP has been consistent in its opinion that assessment of graduating students is crucial for their further studies or employment. #ABVPForEducationhttps://t.co/PxjoaqDDzd
— ABVP (@ABVPVoice) July 6, 2020
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