The Delhi government has decided to cancel all upcoming semester and final exams in universities that come under its jurisdiction due to rising cases of COVID-19.
"In light of the major disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Delhi govt has decided to cancel all Delhi state university exams including final exams," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote on Twitter.
In light of the major disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Delhi govt has decided to cancel all Delhi state university exams including final exams https://t.co/g4SFLqaBQK
" Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) July 11, 2020
Sisodia, who is also Delhi's education minister, said that all students will be promoted to the next semester, while final year students will be awarded degrees on the basis of assessment methods decided by universities.
In an attempt to explain the reason behind his government's decision, Sisodia said, "Delhi government believes that unprecedented times require unprecedented measures." He added that students who already have job offers need to get their degrees to start working and support their families amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There are several universities that come under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government. These varsities are Ambedkar University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi Technological University, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW), National Law University Delhi (NLU), among others, according to a report in Hindustan Times.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to cancel final year exams for Delhi University and other Central universities.
For the sake of our youth, I urge Hon'ble PM to personally intervene and cancel final year exams of DU and other central govt universities and save the future. pic.twitter.com/V7iinytR9O
" Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 11, 2020
However, Delhi government's decision comes despite the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) guidelines that exams should be held for final year students in higher education institutes.
HRD Ministry had on 7 July said that terminal semesters/final year examinations in all universities will have to be conducted by the end of September. The University Grant Commission (UGC) had issued guidelines in this regard, stating that the exams could be held in online, offline or "blended" mode.
But Delhi is not the only state to have objected to the higher education regulator's guidelines.
Chief Minister E Palaniswami has written to HRD minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' stating that holding final-year or end-semester exams in Tamil Nadu, online or offline, is "not feasible".
Earlier, Punjab Higher Education Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa wrote to HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He said that the MHRD/UGC guidelines that make the conduct of final term examination mandatory has "unnerved all the stakeholders" and urged the ministry to think of the larger public interest.
The Directorate of Higher Education (DHE), Odisha had also tweeted that the state government has requested to be allowed to adhere to its decision of cancelling the University exams.