Bengal hasn't received any communication from Centre on postponed exams: Edu minister

(Eds: Adding background) Kolkata, Apr 26 (PTI) 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 the 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 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,' Chatterjee said.

'There has been no letter from either UGC or MHRD on the issue,' the minister 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 committees before going ahead with the recommendations given by it.

The UGC, in a statement on April 25, said it has formed two committees to look into the issues being faced by the universities and colleges regarding teaching-learning processes, examinations, admissions, academic calendar and other related issues in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown, to avoid academic loss and take appropriate measures for the future of the students.

'The first committee was given the responsibility to look into the issues related to examinations and academic calendar, whereas the second committee was asked to look into the issues related with promoting online education,' the UGC said.

'It is further clarified that both the committees have submitted their reports on April 24 and the reports will be discussed in the UGC Commission meeting and based on the discussion of the committee, the UGC will issue guidance/advisories next week to the universities and colleges regarding the measures to be taken for the current academic session as well as next academic session,' the statement said.

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. PTI SUS SOM SOM