DU & JNU faculties write to UGC seeking cancellation of exams

New Delhi: Teachers from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University among others have now written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman asking that the online examination for students is scrapped and that they are evaluated on previous performance. The letter has been written by the former University Grants Commission chairman Sukhdeo Thorat and 27 other teachers from various universities to the current UGC Chairman.

The letter requests the UGC to permit the cancellation of final year exams as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. This request is being made by the educationists to ensure the good health of the students, it said.

The letter sent to UGC chairman D P Singh on Thursday was signed by professors from DU, JNU, University of Hyderabad, University of Mumbai, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and other institutes.

The letter reads, "The UGC's latest advisory on examinations is unfortunate because it takes us backward rather than forward. It effectively extends the period for holding of exams (for final year/semester cohorts) until September, the second such postponement. And it creates fresh uncertainty for states that had already decided to cancel exams," added the letter.

Protests have been mounting against the online examinations in the Capital. Significantly, Delhi University students have been intensifying their protests against the OBEs and have also formed a committee and threatened to go on a hunger strike if the UGC and other administrative authorities do not take a call on the matter soon enough.

Moreover, the Delhi High Court has now multiple times reprimanded the university over its unpreparedness to conduct the examinations online and even commented on the way it had conducted the mock exams.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Delhi High Court passed an order that essentially allowed schools to deny online education to those students who are unable to explain why they have not been clearing school fees. The Delhi government was issued a notice by the court in the matter when a private school challenged a circular that mandated all schools to continue classes despite the inability of parents to pay fees in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

After hearing advocate Romy Chacko, who appeared for the private school, the high court asked the school to first issue notices to the parents who have defaulted in fee payment for more than two months asking them to give reasons for the same.

If the parents are able to prove their financial problems/financial incapacity to immediately pay the pending fees, "the petitioner-school shall not take any further steps for the time being against such parents", the high court said.

"Where the parents are unable to satisfy/demonstrate to the petitioner regarding their financial difficulties, the petitioner is free to so communicate the same to the parents and decline to provide them with the ID and password for online education facility for the students," the high court said.

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