Can’t conduct college final semester exams by September: TN CM writes to MHRD minister

The Ministry of Human Resource Development had issued guidelines to all the states on July 6, directing them to conduct final semester exams by September 2020.
Can’t conduct college final semester exams by September: TN CM writes to MHRD minister
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Tamil Nadu Chief MInister Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Friday, informed the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) that it would not be possible to conduct the final year examinations for college students in the state by September 2020. The letter comes after the MHRD issued guidelines on July 6, making it compulsory for all the higher educational institutions in the country to conduct final semester examinations by September.

In his letter to the Union MHRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Edappadi K Palaniswami stated that though the examinations were scheduled in April, colleges and universities in Tamil Nadu could not follow the schedule due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Minister noted that the new guidelines were not practical and urged the MHRD to consider providing states the freedom to formulate their own assessment methods for final semester students without compromising on the academic standards.

Pointing out that the MHRD guidelines on examinations are riddled with practical difficulties, such as students being unable to reach the examination centres and network connectivity issues, the Chief Minister said that it is not feasible to conduct exams offline or online.

“Moreover, most of the Government and Private Arts & Science and Engineering Colleges, Polytechnics and other institutions of higher learning (including hostels and classrooms) in the state have been converted into Covid Care Centres for housing asymptomatic positive persons under quarantine and these centres may continue as Covid centres for some more time,” he added.

The CM stated that many Indian states have also decided not to conduct final semester examinations for students. The MHRD can consider granting autonomy for states to decide on the evaluation method for these students, ensuring that their quality is not compromised, he said.

Requesting the minister to direct the regulatory authorities — The University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Council of Architecture (COA), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE) and National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology — to support and endorse the decisions of the state governments in this aspect, he also said that it would help the students and the parents in these times of distress.

Tamil Nadu, as of Friday, has 46,105 patients being treated for COVID-19 and a total of over 1.30 lakh persons have been tested positive for coronavirus in the state. 

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