Students, colleges in Mumbai seek clarity on details about holding final-year exams after Supreme Court verdict

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Published on Aug 29, 2020 01:52 AM IST
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Months of ambiguity over the end-of-term final-year exams were finally brought to an end on Friday, after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that all the universities in the country will have to hold exams to promote students.

Even as the Maharashtra government announced to follow the Apex court order, students and colleges are still confused, trying to figure out how and when the exams will be held in the upcoming weeks. The state education department has assured clarity over the exam schedule and other minute details soon.

“Colleges are currently working on virtual classes and a majority have decided to conduct semester exams by November this year. Going by the state government’s announcement, the final-year exams might also take place around the same time, leaving teachers burdened again,” said a senior professor of a suburban college.

She added that before announcing the exam dates, the state government will have to clarify the minutest of details such as how the exam will be conducted, how the papers will be set and assessed, among others.

To give themselves enough time for clarity, several final-year students had decided to defer joining foreign universities for higher studies by one semester. Many are still worried that after missing the August-September session, they might miss joining universities abroad in the January-February session too.

“Due to the Covid-19 scare and uncertainty over my exams, I had deferred my intake to the February semester. I’m worried that I might not even make it for that semester, if the university exams and eventual results are delayed further,” said Akruti Patel, a final year Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) student, who has already been accepted by a Canadian university for Master of Business Management course.

Several student organisations have called the SC verdict unfair, and claimed that the decision will put the health of students in jeopardy.

“The SC verdict is completely unfair to the student community. Not only will this cause additional mental stress to students, but also pose a serious health hazard for all those who will be involved in the exam process,” said Mohammad Salman for the Student Islamic Organisation (SIO).

He added that imposing University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines on all universities is contrary to the federal nature of education in the country and infringes on the rights of state governments and autonomous institutes.

Some colleges, however, are not complaining about the verdict.

“Conducting exams will hinder the current academic session but I’m sure every college has been mentally preparing for this situation, and so everything will be managed well,” said Rajendra Shinde, principal, St Xavier’s College.


    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

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