CHENNAI: Indicating that Tamil Nadu may not be in a position to conduct the examinations for final semester students by September due to the prevailing COVID situation, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday urged Centre to give states the freedom to work out their own assessment methods, without compromising on the quality and academic credibility.
Taking exception to the latest guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on July 6 mandating all educational institutions across the country to conduct examinations by September for the final semester students, the Chief Minister said the new guidelines have many constraints and difficulties which include students reaching the examination centres, as many of them are residing outside the district, state or even outside the country.
He also said it would not be feasible to conduct online examinations, considering the various issues relating to digital access to the students.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that most of the government and private colleges, polytechnics and other institutions of higher education in the state have been converted into COVID care centres for housing asymptomatic patients.
"Therefore, if we are not in a position to conduct examinations even after waiting till September 2020, it would jeopardise the future of the students who are in their final year/semester. Moreover, it will also unnecessarily affect the future of the students who were recruited through campus selections and the students who have applied for courses abroad, who may have to join in the month of October 2020, after the ban on international travel is lifted," the Chief Minister pointed out.
Recalling that many states in the country had taken the decision not to conduct the final semester examinations, the Chief Minister said "To ensure the career opportunities, future prospects and to simultaneously safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students, the States may be given the freedom to work out their own assessment methods, without compromising on the quality and academic credibility.
In this context, Palaniswami requested the Union Minister to direct the respective Apex authorities like 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 endorse the decisions of the respective state governments, which would be based on the local prevailing COVID-19 conditions.
"This would go a long way in rendering justice and fairness to the parents and the students, during these distressful times," the Chief Minister said.