Tweak the Maharashtra universities laws to help the 2020-21 batch finish their academic year

This comes barely a week after the state minister of higher and technical education Uday Samant formed a special committee of experts, to come up with different plans that could adjust not just the examinations and results of the current semester but also plan the 2020-21 academic year.
Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant. (HT file)
Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant. (HT file)
Updated on Apr 15, 2020 04:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By

Even as students and higher education institutes are waiting for clarity on the status of examinations, several college heads got together to share a contingency plan with the government.

This comes barely a week after the state minister of higher and technical education Uday Samant formed a special committee of experts, to come up with different plans that could adjust not just the examinations and results of the current semester but also plan the 2020-21 academic year.

“Before any plans are drawn or executed, the state government first needs to temporarily tweak statutes of the Maharashtra State Public Universities Act, 2015, so that the changes are applicable to the entire 2020-21 batch and are discontinued thereafter. State government needs to pass a temporary ordinance in this matter,” said T A Shiware, chairman of the Mumbai Association of Non Government Colleges.

In a letter sent to the education minister, principal secretary of state education, Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) as well as all heads of state universities, the association has charted out two separate plans keeping in mind the extension of the lockdown.

College exams aside, admissions process of most professional courses too are stuck at present. The state common entrance test (CET) cell in March decided to postpone the MH-CET for engineering and pharma courses indefinitely. The entrance test was originally scheduled to take place between April 13 and 23 this year.

Similarly two weeks ago, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced that the second phase of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains will now be held in the last week of May. The exam was originally scheduled to take place between April 5 and 11, and as per a statement released by NTA, the next possible dates will be announced only post April 15. About 9 lakh students have registered for this exam.

Immediately after this announcement, IIT Delhi announced that the JEE Advanced exam will now be postponed to the last week of May instead of the first week of May, hinting at a delay in admissions to engineering institutes across the country.

According to the association, state higher education institutes can not start their next academic year before September-October 2020.

“If the lockdown is lifted by May-end, colleges still have the month of June to conduct exams and announce results in the same month while the university can conduct final year exams in July and ensure results are out by August. Online exams will not be feasible for several students studying in the rural parts of the state,” highlights the letter.

In case the current lockdown situation is extended till June 30, the association suggests that all students be promoted based on their performance in the previous semester. “Several state governments are preparing plans but we suggest that Maharashtra take into consideration the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) before taking a final call,” added Shiware.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022