Only final year students to appear for exams in July in Maharashtra

After weeks of confusion, Maharashtra’s minister for higher and technical education, Uday Samant on Friday clarified that all final year students will be appearing for exams between July 1 and 30 whereas all other year students will be promoted to the next academic year.

This decision comes less than a week after a University Grants Commission (UGC) appointed committee released a report suggesting a similar moves to universities across the country.

“All university students, except those in the final year of their graduation course, will be promoted to the next academic year by respective universities. Final year students, as of this date, will be appearing for their exams between July 1 and 30,” said Uday Samant. In a Facebook live session held on Friday afternoon, Samant clarified the state’s decision on long awaited questions posed by students across the state.

Samant on Friday added that final year exam dates will be clarified in the future and in case lockdown due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation is extended beyond June 30, the state government will once again hold a meeting between June 20 and 25 to confirm their next decision on the status of final year examinations. “As of now, we expect respective universities to ensure a timetable is ready for all final year students and results for all exams are announced by August 15 so that the next academic year can begin by first week of September,” he said.

For promoting first and second year students, the state government has decided to adopt UGC recommendation and promote students based on a 50-50% gradation formula–50% will be based a student’s performance in internals and other projects in the current semester and 50% will be based on the student’s performance in the previous semester. “Students who have Allowed-To-Keep-Term (ATKT) remarks for any subject from previous semester will be promoted for the time being, but will have 120 days once the new academic year starts to appear for an exam and clear the subject,” added Samant.

All university and professional course examinations has been held back due to the ongoing lockdown situation but all state governments were asked to clarify their stand recently by the union human resource development (HRD) ministry, based on UGC recommendations.

Pointing at the UGC minimum compulsory attendance rule for students, Samant stated that the 45 days of lockdown should be considered by institutes as time spent in college by all students and added to the current attendance record of students. The education minister has also requested universities to set up help desks and call centres in their respective districts to ensure that all queries of students and parents are answered and to also set up online counselling helplines for the benefit of students and parents affected by the lockdown.

“We may have to cut short the exam time from 3 hours to 2 hours, or we might also decide to take a 50 mark theory exam instead of 80 or 100 marks, but such decisions will be left to the university. We also suggest each of the university decide on the summer vacation dates and inform students accordingly,” said Samant, and added that any practical exams, including viva should be taken online in order to maintain social distancing rules.

Calming nerves of class 12 students who are waiting to hear news on the entrance examination dates for professional courses, to be conducted by state common entrance test (CET) cell, Samant clarified that the CET officials along with officials from the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) are currently working on the schedule and the same will be shared within the next eight days.

Meanwhile, the state Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) on Friday stated that all exams of medical and dental institutes have been deferred until June 15.

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