New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) on Thursday wrote to the University Grants Commission urging it to suspend all examinations in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
In their letter to the commission's secretary, JNUSU councillors Amrit Raj and Anagh Pradeep also appealed to the body to issue fresh guidelines with respect to conduct of examinations.
India saw a record single day rise of 3,79,257 new coronavirus infections pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,83,76,524, while active cases crossed the 30-lakh mark, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death toll increased to 2,04,832 with a record 3,645 daily new fatalities.
'We write to you with regard to suspending all examination and evaluation processes of the ongoing semester, taking into consideration the unprecedented rise in the COVID-19 cases across the country,' they said in their letter.
The country is severely hit by the second wave of the pandemic with over three lakh cases and over 3000 deaths being reported everyday, the letter said.
The JNUSU councillors pointed out that several universities of the country have already suspended all classes and have postponed examinations in view of the situation.
'However, many universities are still continuing with online examinations, submissions, and other evaluation activities at this moment,' the letter said.
Citing how students, teachers and their families are affected by the pandemic, they in the letter alleged that 'students and faculties are being forced to take part in the examination process even while they themselves have been infected and are battling the disease'.
'Under such situations, any form of evaluation or assessment taking place at this moment is not only unjust but also inhumane,' the letter said.
'We, therefore, request that you issue a directive for universities across the country to suspend all examinations, submissions, presentations, and other evaluation activities happening at the moment taking into consideration the grave situation the country is undergoing,' it said.
The JNUSU also urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) to issue fresh guidelines on the conduct of examinations in the months to come.
The last UGC guidelines on examinations were issued on July 6 last year and the pandemic situation has changed much since then, the letter said.
It said that it is necessary that the UGC issue revised guidelines on examinations immediately.
The letter said the guidelines must be given on 'suspending and postponing all examinations and evaluation activities being currently held and give universities and departments the autonomy for considering alternative modes of evaluation along with an option for offline examinations as and when the situation improves'.
The JNUSU also urged the UGC to direct universities to ensure that any decision regarding examinations be taken only after consultation in Board of Studies and Academic Council meetings where student representations are present.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University on Thursday postponed the registration process for admission to the winter semesters of 2021.
The registration for the winter semester was scheduled to start on April 27.
In a statement, the varsity said, “keeping in view the prevailing pandemic situation, the online registration of new students (registered for monsoon semester 2020) for winter semester 2021, which was to commence from April 27 has been put on hold till May 7 and will commence on May 8.” The JNUSU also wrote to the varsity administration to take steps to set up a COVID care centre, a permanent testing camp and vaccination facility for staffers and students.
These must be done with the help and cooperation of the district administration.
The permanent vaccination facility should be set up at the JNU Campus in association with the JNU Health Centre so that students and staffers can get inoculated from May 1, the union said.
Nationwide registration for vaccination for the 18-45 age group started on Wednesday. Earlier, those above 45 years, healthcare workers and frontline workers were being inoculated against COVID-19 as part of the national vaccination drive that was launched on January 16. PTI SLB ANB ANB