New Delhi: Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ asked the University Grants Commission to “revisit” its guidelines on university semester exams and academic calendar, released in April. The minister has said that the “foundation for revisited guidelines” should be the health and safety of students and teachers. The revised academic calendar published previously came with suggestions to continue the teaching-learning process during the COVID-19 lockdown, a suggested schedule for semester examinations, and admissions.

Taking to twitter, HRD Minister has confirmed that a rethink is underway. On his twitter he posted, ‘I have advised the @ugc_india to revisit the guidelines issued earlier for intermediate and Terminal Semester examinations and academic calendar. The foundation for revisited guidelines shall be health and safety students, teachers and staff.’ Mr. Pokhriyal said on social media.

University Grants Commission, UGC has released Exam guidelines in April 2020 offering alternatives to semester examinations for intermediate students. It had however stated that the final year students would have to appear for the examination. However, many states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Haryana etc have deferred their final year university exams in wake of the rising number of coronavirus cases. Students even reached out to MHRD, urging it to reconsider exams. 


Demand For Exam Cancellation

Students have been on protest demanding the cancellation of board, university, and entrance exams, including the NEET 2020 for medicine and JEE Main 2020 for engineering. The Central Board of Secondary Education, or CBSE, is likely to take a decision on conduct of board exams very soon.

Previously, the HRD minister had conducted two review meetings with top education officials of the country, to discuss various issues related to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister’s announcement came amidst speculations about the final-semester exams, as several reports suggest that the UGC may suggest scrapping final-semester exams, considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. However, an official confirmation on the decision is awaited.

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