UGC revised guidelines is another example of decision making on the basis of naive hopes. Given the experience of past three months, it will be highly unreasonable and unjust to tether final year students to another round of naive hopes of Central Govt about containment of the pandemic.
UGC talks of conducting exams for ensuring global acceptability of degrees. However, institutes with best global rankings in India like IITs, IISERs, ISI, etc have decided to award degrees on the basis of previous year results, internal exams, assignments, etc.
University Grants Commission (UGC) released “UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic”. According to the revised guidelines, “Universities are required to complete the examinations by the end of September 2020 in offline (pen & paper)/online/blended (online + offline) mode following the prescribed protocols/guidelines related to COVID-19 pandemic.”
Y4S opposes this decision as it increases the uncertainty and anxiety among students and it doesn’t fulfill any of the aims UGC claims to be guided by:
health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students, academic credibility and global acceptability.
As the pandemic gets out of control due to inefficient handling of Union Govt and most of the state Governments, India is witnessing more than 22,000 cases daily and India has already become the third worst affected country in the world. As Union Government becomes increasingly clueless about the pandemic, it is resorting to decision making on the basis of naive hopes. We have already seen how the earlier decision to conduct exams between July 1 to July 15 created uncertainty and panic among students. Given the experience of past three months, it will be highly unreasonable and unjust to tether final year students to another round of naive hopes of Central Govt about containment of the pandemic.
UGC says that ’The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability.’ However, many Indian Institutes with great credibility and global reputation such as the IITs, IISERs, ISI among others have also decided to award degrees on the basis of past year performances and assessments.
UGC talks about the importance of safeguarding the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. However, the guidelines are in direct contradiction with this. The Offline mode of examination will put the health and safety of the students in jeopardy while the Online Mode of Exam will be unfair towards all the students who lack the resources to give the exams online. The future of any student should not hinge on the availability of electricity, network coverage or their economic strength to afford equipment such as a smartphone or a laptop.
Y4S urges UGC to free the students of any uncertainty and issue guidelines for all the Universities to promote all the students on the basis of either their internal examination scores or their previous semester results. Students unsatisfied with these results must have the option of regular examinations when the situation becomes normal.