Bengal Hasn't Received Any Communication from Centre on Postponed Exams: Education Minister

Kolkata: The West Bengal government has not received any official communication from the Ministry of Human Resource Development or the UGC about framing a guideline to hold examinations that have been postponed, state Education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Sunday.

While the state universities have forwarded certain suggestions to the education department to ensure the academic future of the students was safeguarded, there has been no correspondence from University Grants Commission (UGC) or the MHRD on chalking out an action plan about ways to conduct postponed semester examinations, he said.

I am clearly stating that the state universities will take their decisions in the interest of students based on the discussion with the higher education department in light of the present situation," the minister said.

"There has been no letter from either UGC or MHRD on the issue," he added. He said the department is working in coordination with different state universities on the issue. Chatterjee also urged "a section of the media not to publish any news which will create confusion among students", but did not elaborate.

In a recent directive, UGC said universities and colleges would have to chalk out a plan of action to hold the postponed exams after getting the commissions guidelines. The state government has been asking the commission for sharing the report of its seven-member expert committee before going ahead with the recommendations given by it.

The UGC committee is weighing measures to resume the academic activities and examinations of universities and colleges in the country severely disrupted by the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently announced that universities will have to conduct only the last semester exams of final-year students and other semester exams for both undergraduate students would not be held this time. The semester exams were slated to take place in April-June.

Banerjee made the announcement a day after the education minister held a meeting with vice-chancellors of different state universities.