Maharashtra minister Uday Samant on Thursday said he has informed the Centre that it would not be possible to conduct final-year exams at universities by September-end in view of the COVID-19 crisis in the state.
The minister of technical and higher education said he has written to the HRD ministry after it announced on Monday that final-year examinations in universities will have to be conducted by September-end.
If the University Grants Commission (UGC) insists on conducting the examinations, then it should also issue proper guidelines for the same, Samant said.
Maharashtra has so far recorded 2,23,724 cases of COVID-19, the highest in the country.
"I have written to the UGC and HRD minister, informing them that it would not be possible to hold the final-year examinations in Maharashtra by September-end in view of the COVID-19 situation," Samant told reporters.
The minister said the state government had taken the decision to not hold the examinations based on recommendations from vice-chancellors of the universities.
If the HRD ministry still wants the examinations to be conducted, it should also issue guidelines for students from containment zones and their quarantine, setting exam papers and handling and mobilising of answer sheets, he said.
The HRD ministry had on Monday said that final-year examinations in universities will have to be conducted by September-end, deferring the schedule from July in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
However, students who are unable to appear for these exams in September will get another chance and universities will conduct special exams "as and when feasible", according to the UGC's revised guidelines.
The HRD ministry's announcement came following a nod from the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct the exams as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.