The decision to Cancel Final Year Degree Exams – Maharashtra govt to HC. In Maharashtra, the State Government has informed the Bombay High Court that the decision to cancel the final-year degree exams of both professional and non-professional courses was taken in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the state. In an affidavit, Director of Higher Education Dhanraj Mane said, it has been established that the virus is highly contagious and life-threatening and can spread through the handling of paper.
It further said that the final examination which a student gives is only one amongst many examinations that a student gives during the entire length of the concerned educational course. The government claimed that it has powers under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act to issue such orders canceling the exams.
Vice-Chancellors of various universities in the state and most of them expressed their opinion that it would not be possible to conduct examinations considering the COVID-19 situation. The petition, filed by one Dhananjay Kulkarni, a retired teacher and an ex-senate member from Pune, said that the state government has no power to take such a decision. He challenged the June 19, 2020 government resolution saying that under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016 the Chancellor has overall jurisdiction and the state has no power to make a decision about the exams.
As per the plea, the UGC had on April 27, 2020 directed all universities to conduct exams and declare its schedule. However, after a student organization wrote to the state minister of Higher and Technical Education, the exams in the state were postponed and then subsequently canceled by way of the resolution. As per the resolution, there are 7,34,516 students in their final year in non-professional courses and 2,83,937 students in their final year in professional courses in Maharashtra.
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