An online petition seeking withdrawal of UGC Guidelines and cancellation of final year exams has been started by the Joint Forum For Movement on education (JFME). This petition will be submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it gets 1000 digital signatures. It was started on the platform ‘Change.org’.
The petition, citing the differential access to digital devices for online education, states the inequalities which exist in education have been amplified even more during the lockdown imposed in light of the COVID-19 crisis. It also says that the revised guidelines issued by the UGC are illogical.
It states that although it is claimed that the UGC’s guidelines are premised on the idea to provide safe, fair, and equal opportunity to students while safeguarding the academic interests of students and they also consider the online examinations are a viable alternative to regular exams, the petition says that both the premises are ill-founded.
The petition also highlights the plight of students mentioning that as there are floods in several parts of the country and hence major electricity issues also in addition to the already existing difficulties posed by the COVID-19. Hence it would be even difficult to take fair online examinations. It asserted that as the UGC claims to have acknowledged the concerns expressed by different State Governments and Universities but this one-size-fits-all approach is not conducive to the diverse population and the diverse situations and circumstances they are currently surviving in including geographical, socio-economic status.
As per the petition the guidelines have also ignored the fact that education is in the concurrent list so state lists ought to have a say in the decision.
It also highlighted the reasons for questioning the credibility of conducting online examinations. It claimed that online or blended mode cannot match up to the standards which are there in regular exams for ensuring fairness, integrity, and the credibility of the process.
This petition or forum expects immediate response and Intervention by the Prime Minister for the withdrawal of the guideline issued by the UGC and the cancellation of the mandatory requirement to conduct examinations for final year students, immediately.
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