UGC Exam Guidelines: Maha Minister Asks Centre To Stop Playing With Students Lives, Cites Amitabh, Raj Bhavan Cases

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UGC Exam Guidelines: Maha Minister Asks Centre To Stop 'Playing With Students' Lives', Cites Amitabh, Raj Bhavan Cases

The minister in his tweet mentioned staffers at Raj Bhavan and megastar Amitabh Bachchan being tested positive for COVID-19 and urged UGC to reconsider its decision to hold exams.

Maharashtra Education Minister, Uday Samant on Sunday questioned the University Grants Commission's (UGC) decision to hold final-year exams, alleging the higher education body of putting the lives of students at risk.

In his tweet, citing the instance of Raj Bhavan, where 18 staffers had tested positive for coronavirus, Samant said that when the virus has infected people in a place which is considered to be the 'safest', then the probability of infection to spread among students is more. He urged UGC Vice-Chancellor Bhushan Patwardhan to reconsider the guidelines.

"Taking exams is playing with the lives of my students," his twitter post in Marathi read.

Samant also cited veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan's example, who recently tested positive for the virus. considering the fact that if people who often have access to the highest level of security and testing can contain the virus, then students are at utmost risk of coming in contact.

At least 18 people at Maharashtra's Raj Bhavan tested positive for coronavirus, including staff working in close proximity to the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who later self-quarantined. As per the latest update by The New Indian Express, the Governor has tested negative for the virus.

This came after veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, 77, and his son Abhishek Bachchan, 44, were admitted to Nanavati hospital on Saturday night after testing positive for coronavirus.

Last month, the Maharashtra government had cancelled the final year and semester examinations in various universities given the surge in coronavirus cases in the state. He also said that tests can be conducted for candidates who are willing to appear, after informing their respective institutions in writing.

UGC's decision to hold final-year exams has come under massive criticism from states and opposition parties. Earlier, this week, the education body had announced that final-year examinations in universities to be organised by the end of September, which were to be conducted this month but are postponed in view of a spike in COVID-19 cases currently in the country.

In a letter to Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Samant said that the guidelines on exams should be 'advisory' not 'mandatory'. According to the media, many states have written to the HRD Ministry, requesting regulatory bodies of higher education to 'endorse' state decisions on conducting exams.

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