MUMBAI: Final exams across public universities in the state will most likely be conducted after May 15. In a virtual meeting organised by the chancellor and the governor of the state, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, most vice-chancellors have agreed that it may be difficult to conduct any exam before mid-May with state’s Covid-19 cases on the rise.
The higher education minister Uday Samant informed the governor that a six-member committee, comprising vice-chancellors from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and SNDT universities and directors of higher and technical education, has been formed to chalk out multiple plans to conduct the final exams under given circumstances. In plan A if the lockdown is lifted in April, the vice-chancellors have been asked to figure out ways to conduct exams from mid-May. In plan B, if the lockdown continues, they have been asked to explore the possibilities of holding exams in smaller groups on a later date.
“Even if the lockdown is lifted at some point, we cannot allow students to gather in large numbers in colleges,” said , said vice-chancellor of Mumbai University, Suhas Pednekar. The committee has been asked to submit their report with multiple plans in two days. All public universities in the state will follow a uniform schedule to conduct exams and for the new academic calendar, said a statement released by the Raj Bhavan. The Governor asked universities to use technology to ensure that the teaching-learning process is not impacted with the outbreak.
Universities have also been asked to make use of their emergency fund to support innovative initiatives such as Covid-19 testing laboratories, making masks, manufacturing sanitisers, kits, low-cost ventilators. Mumbai University, too, is working on building a facility for Covid-19 testing, said Pednekar. The university is also planning to raise funds through CSR activities.
Each district under public universities have been asked to make available a team of minimum 30 trained NSS volunteers to provide secondary support to the collectors. Mumbai University has around seven districts and the administration has already formed the team of 30 volunteers and have sought consent from their parents as well.
The Governor mentioned that he has donated his one month’s salary to the PM relief fund and even 30% of his monthly salary for one year to the government. The governor appealed to the vice-chancellors to contribute for the cause.