The State Government of Odisha has submitted before the Supreme Court that the UGC Guidelines dated 06.07.2020 for mandatorily conducting final year examinations is "not implementable" given the worsening condition of Covid-19 in the State.
The reply has been filed through Advocate Shibashish Mishra, in a petition moved by Yuva Sena, which had demanded that the UGC be directed to allow individual state governments to pass the final year students based on the candidate's past performance.
The matter is listed for hearing today, before the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, alongside a batch of similar petitions.
The Government of Odisha has submitted that the UGC Guidelines have completely overlooked that if the examinations are conducted in the present Covid l9 scenario, lakhs of students/ teachers/ staff/ family members of the students/ teachers/ staff will be exposed to the risk of Covid 19 infection.
Further it has submitted that the even if the final year examination is conducted, its "sanctity" will be greatly compromised inasmuch as: (l) there will be single sitting examination for all subjects; (2) the duration of the examinations will be short; (3) the assessment will be made on the basis of multiple choice questions in place of subjective questions; (4) there might be unfair practices, which may include an open book examination etc taking into account the current Covid l9 situation.
Thus it has been argued that examinations should not be conducted "just for the sake of conducting it".
The Government has prayed that it should be allowed to implement the letter dated June 18, 2020, addressed by the Higher Education Department of the state to the Vice Chancellors and Principals of all concerned State Universities and Colleges.
The said letter gives out instructions to such Universities and Colleges for adoption of an "alternative evaluation method" in respect of UG and PG Final Year/ Final Semester, 2020 students.
It is argued that since UGC has already permitted intermediate semester students to be promoted on the basis of an alternative evaluation scheme (in lieu of cancelled examinations), the same is clearly an acceptable concept to the Commission.
"In such a scenario, what is acceptable to the University Grants commission in the case of intermediate year/semester, should have also been acceptable in case of final term examinations," the State Government said.
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