On Thursday, Maharashtra Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray upheld the decision taken by the state government of conducting exams. The state government decided to not hold the final year or final semester college examinations. It is potentially risky given the huge number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
On June 25, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He urged him to authorize national-level apex authorities to approve the state’s decision on cancellation of these examinations. He also urged to hand out essential guidelines to universities.
However, The University Grants Commission has announced that all universities must carry final year/final semester exams either offline or online by the end of September.
But according to Aaditya holding exams would be troublesome due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We were about 600 cases in March. But today, the country has about 7 lakh COVID-19 cases. Conducting exams will lead to assemblies of people from different areas, including [those] from containment zones. The government should have rather allowed conducting the exams in March than now.
Aditya also presides the Shiv Sena’s youth wing, Yuva Sena. As they had voiced their demand for cancellation of exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to scrap final year/final semester exams was taken by the Sena-Congress-NCP Mahavikas Aghadi government. The decision was taken against the recommendation of a committee set up to make recommendations in the matter.
A discussion was held on Thursday, with Anant Goenka, executive director of The Indian Express Group, and Aaditya at the FICCI FRAMES 2020 program. Many children who have applied abroad to study got admissions on aggregate marks, due to the flip-flop of UGC from March. If exams are held in Semester, they would miss out on an entire year. The students might miss out on jobs and further education, as it may take at least four or five more months for the whole process.
The government has ordered for marking final semester/final year students by aggregating their performance in previous semesters or previous years. If the students are not satisfied after getting the aggregate marks and want to strive for excellence, they will be given an opportunity to take an exam whenever the lockdown opens up. The opportunity to write an academic exam won’t be taken away from anyone.
Maharashtra has extended lockdown until July 31. It has recorded almost 2.4 lakh COVID-19 cases.
The first-time MLA from Worli Assembly constituency in Mumbai, Aaditya, also stated that the Chinese products should not be endorsed by Bollywood ambassadors in the middle of the LAC tension in Ladakh.
He further added that a firm stand is needed to be taken if there is an invasion from another country in our country. Standing with the government and the country are two different things. We should stand as one for our country.