In a letter to the Prime Minister, the WB Chief Minister has said that the revised UGC guidelines "will only adversely affect the interest of students of West Bengal and all over the country."
The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has written a letter to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi urging him to intervene into the matter of the revised UGC guidelines on holding the final-year exams in universities and colleges by end of September.
Banerjee has also urged the PM to restore UGC's earlier guidelines, issued in April, which were advisory in nature.
Earlier, the West Bengal Vice-Chancellors' Council had rejected the UGC's revised guideline on final year exams and the state higher education department had written to the HRD Ministry on the issue.
In her letter to Narendra Modi, the WB Chief Minister says, "I am writing to you in the context of the Office Memorandum and the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development & UGC respectively with regard to conducting terminal examination for various courses in colleges and universities."
"Though UGC vide its earlier guidelines dated 29.04.2020 clearly stated that the guidelines are advisory and suggestive in nature, yet, UGC vide its revised guidelines issued on 06.07.2020 has asked all Universities/Colleges in the Country, to compulsorily complete the terminal semester/year examinations by the end of September, 2020."
"With the current trend of rise in the COVID cases in the country and considering such unforeseen, uncertain and challenging situation our Government, after extensive consultation with all Vice-Chancellors and stakeholders, issued an advisory on 27.06.2020 to all the State-aided Universities/Colleges of the State. Our advisory, issued in the interest of the health, safety and future of students, provides due weightage to the internal assessment and the performance of the candidate in the previous semesters in order to ensure transparency. Besides, our advisory has a provision for holding special exams after the situation gets normalised, for such students, who wish to appear in a formal examination instead of alternate evaluation method."
"It may be stated here that the Universities/Colleges aided by the State Government have already taken steps as per the advisory issued by the Higher Education Department. The students, their parents, and other stakeholders have overwhelmingly appreciated our advisory dated 27 06.2020. In fact, I am now receiving hundreds of e-mails, from the students and the teaching community raising their concern of holding examinations as per the revised guidelines issued by UGC, compelling me to take up this matter with your good office."
"In the prevailing situation, such revised guidelines issued by UGC, will only adversely affect the interest of students of West Bengal and all over the country. I understand that various states have already raised the issue with Government Of India expressing their concerns and disagreement with the new guidelines."
"I would, therefore, kindly request you to get the matter re-examined immediately and restore the earlier advisory of UGC. This will facilitate state governments to implement its decision, taken on the basis of the guidelines of UGC, issued on 29.04.2020, to protect the interest of the students at national/international levels."
"You will kindly appreciate that the students and teaching communities are the assets of our country and the world. We must take proper care of their physical and mental well-being. They should not feel upset,” the letter reads.
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