Conducting final semester exams a feasible option?

Sruthi Vibhavari

Hyderabad: Amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases and demands to scrap all examinations, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued guidelines on July 6 to universities to conduct final semester exams by the end of September — either online or offline. Abiding by the UGC guidelines, the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) also plans to hold exams for both Undergraduate and Post-Graduate during the third last week of August.

The expert committee of the UGC reiterated that it is as much crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities, and future progress of the students while stressing on the safeguarding health, safety and fair and equal opportunities in view of the COVID-19 situation in India.

Meanwhile, students across the country who are to appear for the examinations seem unhappy. The #SpeakUpForStudents hashtag is trending on social media with over four lakh users supporting the cause. Due to concerns ranging from safety, lack of online facilities, and disruptions caused to academics via the pandemic, the demands to cancel exams and grade students on their previous performances is rising.
According to Abhishek Nandan, UOH Students Union president, UGC’s decision is an insensitive one. “It should be viewed as an example of how the government is succumbing to exclusionary models of education that only protect corporate interests,” he says. While commenting on the plight of the current educational infrastructural availabilities, he also adds “Conducting an online examination for all students is also out of the question. We have seen how unsuccessful the decision was to shift to online classes.”
Via the intervention of students, the University of Hyderabad, has established a precedent with the extrapolation of grades from previous semesters and declaring results of final year students with a chance for improvement exams. “Promoting all students without hassle is a requirement that we must cater to,” Abhishek opines.

The administration of Osmania University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University and Hyderabad Central University are yet to decide over the conduct of exams. Despite constant calls to the administration department of Osmania University regarding a comment, no response was received. Any response to the pleas of the students will take a bit more time too.

In Telangana, over two lakh students studying in various regular degree courses and professional courses will be taking final semester or year exams.

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