– Mita Mukherjee
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday asked all universities not to conduct any offline examination in May to avoid gathering of students on campuses as several states are facing the second wave of Covid-19.
The UGC said universities and colleges can take a decision on conducting the online examinations after assessing the local Covid-19 conditions. But before conducting the online examinations, all institutions of higher educations will have to ensure that they are prepared to hold the tests following the guidelines issued from time to time by the Central and state governments, Union ministry of education and the UGC to prevent spread of Covid-19 and for the safety of students, teachers and staff.
The commission wants to keep the examinations in abeyance to provide relief to students, teachers and staff who are fighting Covid-19 in some way or the other.
In a letter to vice-chancellors of universities and principals of colleges under its umbrella, the UGC said “ Keeping in view of the current scenario of Covid-19, it is requested that Higher Education Institutions may keep the offline examinations in abeyance during May 2021 to avoid physical gathering at the campuses and also to provide much-needed relief to students, faculty and staff who are presently occupied in fighting COVID-19 in some way or other ….. However, for conduct of online examinations, HEIs may decide suitably after accessing local conditions…”
The UGC advisory applies to all universities registered with it including all state-aided and private universities in the country.
The Union ministry of education had recently asked all centrally-funded institutes like IITs, NITs and Central universities not to conduct any offline examinations in May.
However, in view of the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases many universities have already decided not to hold any offline examinations for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Father Felix Raj, vice-chancellor of St. Xavier’s University Kolkata said the university was aware about the UGC directive but his institution had already decided not to conduct offline examinations this time in view of the Covid-19 situation.
“The semester examinations are normally held in May-June. There will be no offline examinations this time. But our online classes and examinations will be held as per schedule,” Father Felix Raj told EducationWorld.National, News