West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, urging him to re-examine the UGC directive that mandated final examinations in colleges and universities by September-end.
Expressing concern over the UGC guidelines issued on July 6, Banerjee stressed that the revised guidelines of UGC on conducting terminal examination in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic for various courses in colleges and universities is against the interest of the health, safety and future of students.
"In the prevailing situation, such revised guidelines issued by the UGC, will only adversely affect the interest of students of West Bengal and all over the country. I understand that various states have already raised the issue with the government of India expressing their concerns and disagreement with the new guidelines," the state chief minister said.
She further added, "I would, therefore, kindly request you (PM Modi) to get the matter re-examined immediately and restore the earlier advisory of UGC. This will facilitate state governments to implement its decision, taken on the basis of the guidelines of UGC, issued on April 29, 2020 to protect the interest of the students at national and international levels.”
On the context of those students who wish to appear in a formal examination system instead of alternate evaluation method (once situation will normalise), she said, "With the current trend of rise in the COVID-19 cases in the country and considering such unforeseen, uncertain and challenging situation, our government, after extensive consultation with all vice-chancellors and stakeholders issued an advisory on June 27, 2020 to all the state-aided universities/colleges of the state. Our advisory, issued in the interest of the health, safety and future of students, provides due weightage to the internal assessment and the performance of the candidate in the previous semesters in order to ensure transparency. Besides, our advisory has a provision for holding special examinations after the situation gets normalised, for such students who wish to appear in a formal examination instead of an alternate evaluation method.”