The UGC (University Grants Commission) has announced today that 603 universities, out of 818 have either conducted the examinations or are planning to do so. The UGC has made this announcement after it received responses from all the universities regarding the final year or terminal semester exams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the next two days, the Supreme Court will be hearing the pleas of 31 students who have challenged the circular of UGC on conducting the final year examinations. The cancellation of exams is also sought by the plea of students.
The regulator had earlier shared that uncertainties in conducting final year exams were expressed by at least 168 universities. A minimum of six union territories and states have expressed their inability to conduct the final semester/year exams as mandated by the UGC. These states and Union Territories include Punjab, Delhi, and West Bengal.
A total of 755 universities had shared the status of conducting the final year exams with UGC, last week.
The UGC said that there are 321 state universities, 274 private universities, 40 central universities, and 120 deemed, in the 755 universities. The UGC also added a total of 566 universities have either already conducted their exams or are planning to conduct them in August or September.
194 universities have already conducted their exams and the other 366 out of the 560 will conduct the exams in August or September.
The UGC said that there are 27 private universities among the respondents. A few universities have already informed the commission that their first batches have not become eligible for final exams yet.
The apex education regulator had said in a July 6 circular that the said institutions will conduct their final year and final semester exams at the end of September and not before that.
UGC said in a statement that the terminal semester/final year examinations have to be conducted by the universities by September end in an either online/offline/blended mode.
The regulator also said that it was of supreme importance that the principles of safety, health, equal and fair opportunity for students must be safeguarded.
The UGC also clarified that the decision taken by it to not scrap the final year and semester exams is based on academic prudence and the need to maintain credibility.
The Delhi High Court has also asked UGC to clarify if the final year exams can be conducted based on MCQ, assignments and presentations, open choices, instead of the long-form of exams.
A plea was being heard by the High Court which challenged the decision of DU to hold Open book examination (OBE) for undergraduate final year students. The exams are supposed to be conducted in long-form.
The UGC was asked by Justice Pratibha M Singh to explain the import of its guidelines issued in April. The guidelines mentioned the type of examinations that can be held by a college for conducting the final year exams.
The matter has been listed by the high court for further hearing on July 24.
In India, all the educational institutions are closed for the past few months because of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.