[Breaking] Maharashtra governor wants final year practical exams from Sep 15, says no to assignment-based, open-book tests

Musab Qazi
Editor, MahaScholar.com

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Thursday (September 3) directed vice-chancellors (V-Cs) of the state’s non-agricultural universities to begin the practical tests for final year students from September 15 and complete the entire examination process, including declaration of results by October 30. The directive comes days after state higher and technical education minister Uday Samant announced that the final year exams will begin in the first week of October, assuring students that they will get the entire month of September to prepare for the tests.

Koshiyari, who also serves as chancellor of all the state universities, gave these instructions at a video-conferencing with V-Cs on Thursday afternoon, which was also attended by the state higher and technical education minister Uday Samant and other state government officials. According to sources familiar with the meeting, the governor also opposed home assignments or open-book tests as modes of examination for final year students, favouring Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) methods instead. Even this view contradicts Samant’s earlier assertion that the exams will be conducted in a simplified manner, including through assignments and open-book tests.

The open-book examinations, which allow students to write their papers at home and scan and upload them online, submit them at designated centres or post them to educational institutes, have been adopted by several universities across the country, including Delhi University, Benaras Hindu University and universities in Madhya Pradesh, in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.  

The minister, however, didn’t contest the instructions the governor at the meeting, said a source. Later in the evening, the minister released a statement terming the discussions at the meeting as “positive”.  “It’s important to ensure that the examination process gets over as soon as possible so that the subsequent academic years are nor affected adversely. Some of the universities wanted to continue the examination till November 10, which can’t be allowed. The colleges can start with the practical exams and can conduct theory tests as soon as the practicals are completed,” said an aide to Samant.  

The aide was however astonished by the governor’s insistence on MCQ-based exams. “The students are used to descriptive questions. They may not be prepared for the objective questions,” said the aide.

In the wake of the pandemic and lockdown, Maharashtra government, despite Governor’s opposition, had made all the college examinations non-mandatory and decided to grant degrees to final year college students without examinations. However, the University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex higher education regulator, directed the universities across the country to conduct final year examinations by September. After 31 students challenged UGC’s guidelines, SC ruled that the states can’t promote final year students without examinations, while allowing them to seek postponement of the exams.

Following the verdict, the state formed a committee consisting some of the V-Cs as well as directors of higher and technical education to decide modalities of the exams.

According to statements from Samant and Koshiyari, it was decided in the meeting that the V-Cs would hold the meeting of the Board of Examinations and Academic Councils of their respective universities within the next 2 or 3 days and prepare their exam time-tables in the light of the committee’s recommendations. The universities would then approach the state’s Disaster Management Committee for its approval. Subsequently, the state would apprise UGC of the pandemic situation and modalities of final year exams.

“Considering the shortage of time available for setting question papers, the Governor asked universities to coordinate with Savitribai Phule Pune University and University of Mumbai and other universities for preparing question banks” read the statement from Koshiyari.

“It was discussed that the universities should complete the examination process in time and also be prepared for the next academic year. They should also conduct the exams of Allowed to Keep term (ATKT) students in time. If any students are deprived of the tests due to unavoidable circumstances, universities should arrange for their exams,” read the statement from Samant.

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  10. Since over last four months there is lot of confusion and controversies in the statements about conducting final year semester or year examination amongst UGC, MHA and State Government. Some time they favour online, offline or open book examination and assignment based exam. It is ridiculous thing. Many students except in some Universities are not acquainted with on line mode of examination for different reasons. All the academic institutions were closed due to covid19 transmission from 16th of March 20.usually the syllabus is to be finished in 90days from the start of the academic session, the syllabus was not completed , students have no study material. There is lot of difference between descriptive and objective type (MCQ) of examination .The best option is to give assignment to the students subject wise to complete the same at home and allowing students to submit the same in 15 days to the prescribed authorized centers of University. This will solve the problem of UGC, MHA and the State Government and the the health, safety and wellness of the students will be maintained.

  11. Why the governor not allowing free hand to the state goverment to decide the mode of examinations, why is he not cooperating, its seems he is just fulfilling the wishes of his political masters, disgusting

  12. If the students Are going to give exam from home for their safety (to avoid covid 19).Than how they will apear for practical exam??

  13. Because of these type of people our Indian Education system is useless. They just generate servants for big companies & for other countries.

  14. The governor of mah in covid 19 situation co operate students do not make political issue for examination all govt office are not functioning court are close the governe should adopt easy matter because of covid 19

  15. please inform that how much syllabus will have to study all or before lockdown because the entire syllabus was not completed before this pandemic

  16. The students are allowed to give exam from there home or not.
    Because of such situations no one is going to step out to give exam.
    If something happens to students is government ready to take responsiblity for it

  17. The students are allowed to give exam from there home or not.
    Because of such situations no one is going to step out to give exam.
    If something happens to students is government ready to take responsiblity for it

  18. The students are allowed to give exam from there home or not.
    Because of such situations no one is going to step out to give exam.
    If something happens to students is government responsible for it

  19. They might have been forgotten about 10th and 12th standard supplementary exams.
    I think they will waste our year and will make all failed students feel guilty and suffer from anxiety.

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