Students' bodies divided over recommendations by UGC-appointed panels
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
New Delhi, April 29 2020 - In the wake of two experts committees set up by the University Grants Commission making recommendations on the new academic session and conduct of higher education examinations across the country, representatives of students seemed divided over the suggestions and their outcome. Congress students wing National Students Union of India claimed that implementing the recommendations as such would tantamount to "injustice" with students. On the other hand, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-dominated Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) claimed that the recommendations would "help ease the situation" for students who are worried for their academic future. An experts committee headed by IGNOU Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao on online education is in favour of adopting online examinations in view of the educational infrastructure, the diverse range of higher education institutions and local influences across the country. It is this recommendation that NSUI claims would be injustice to students, especially those who don't have access to computers and Internet during the nationwide lockdown. "Is it a joke? We have been told that the committee has recommended universities who wish to conduct online exams can go ahead. When the UGC can provide grants to all universities, why cannot it instruct all universities to follow offline exams pattern?" Lokesh Chugh, National Media Incharge, NSUI, said. Another panel led by Haryana Central University Vice Chancellor RC Kohar has recommended that the academic sessions be started two months late, that is, from September. The expert panel pointed out that the examinations could not be held as per the earlier schedule due to the lockdown. So, it also suggested, the examinations at the end of the course or semester should now be held in July. The Delhi University Students Union welcomed the recommendations made by the committees and appealed for preference to be given to final year examinations during such an exercise. "Most recommendations, if implemented, will help students but the only thing that the UGC must keep in mind is that final-year students be given preference. We must also restrict their syllabi to whatever has been taught (before the lockdown) and leave out the remaining course," DUSU President Akshit Dahiya said. Once the UGC gives the go-ahead to the recommendations, the government will have to adopt legal course of action to push back the last date of admissions to medical and technical institutions. In normal course, the last date for admissions to engineering institutions is August 15 and for medical colleges August 31.