Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder on Thursday said that he shall write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking cancellation of exams in universities and colleges in the interest and safety of the students.
The Chief Minister said he will seek revocation of the July 6 MHA orders on compulsory conduct of final terms exams in the universities/colleges by September, and withdrawal of the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines accordingly.
Coronavirus cases in Punjab are increasing every day and are projected to peak in September, Captain Amarinder pointed out, adding that he was not ready to risk the lives of the students in these circumstances.
“How can we take the risk of exposing students by bringing them together for exams at this juncture?,” said the Chief Minister. He further said that exams could not be held in online mode, which the UGC had suggested as an option, since a large section of the students in Punjab, especially in rural areas and among the backward communities, do not have access to affordable and uninterrupted Internet connectivity.
It is just not feasible to hold exams in the current situation, he stressed at a meeting of the Education Department to discuss the issue. Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi expressed full agreement with the Chief Minister’s view that the situation did not allow safe conduct of exams.
Pointing out that seven other states had already raised their concerns on this count with the central government, Captain Amarinder said all Congress-ruled states had in fact decided to approach the Union Government in this regard.
The Chief Minister also asked Higher Education Minister Tript Singh Bajwa to write to his counterpart in the central government on the issue. He urged the Vice-Chancellors of various institutions to also write to the UGC for cancellation of the exams in the light of the risk involved in the conduct of the exams amid the Covid crisis.