In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to all universities to set up a cell for handling grievances of students relating to examinations and other academic matters. The guidelines on Examination and Academic Calendar have asked universities to plan their academic activities in the best interests of students and other stakeholders.
Labeed Shafi, SIO President, has welcomed the UGC guidelines. However, he has raised some concerns on the new guidelines. The conduct of online examinations through use of high-speed internet, said Labbed, will affect those from rural and remote areas who have no access to such technology. “Instead, the UGC should provide for default promotion for all students with either the option of or compulsory appearance for, supplementary/improvement examination at a later date to improve the examination score”, he said in a letter forwarded to the UGC.
One week notice period for examinations as given in the new guidelines is very short. It should be at least a 15-day notice period. He further added that the UGC should ensure transport/movement pass for students for avoidance of unnecessary police checks.
Holding regular examinations for those streams which do not have alternatives, in spite of safety measures in current circumstances will be inappropriate as it will unnecessarily expose students to the risk of infection. However such exams may be held only in green zones, with appropriate safety measures such as social distancing, sanitation, etc.