UGC Vs Students: Why Mandatory Final-Sem Exams Have Sparked a Row?

Exams have become a source of anxiety, stress and confusion for final-year college students in India.

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Exams have become a source of anxiety, stress and confusion for final-year college students in India.

Weeks after #StudentsLivesMatter trended on Twitter, over 30 students from across the country, including a COVID-positive student, moved the Supreme Court against the guidelines by the University Grants Commission (UGC) that mandated the conduct of the final-semester or final-year examinations by 30 September.

How do we conduct exams without risking exposure? How do we wrap the academic year without exams when educational institutions have been shut for 5 months?

The pandemic has presented these challenges before academic institutions, students, their parents and teachers. Initially, several states had decided to cancel the final-year exams in light of the pandemic, but the UGC guidelines from 7 July, that directed an offline-online hybrid mode of exams for final-year students, may force colleges to revisit that decision.

But, is it a sound decision to make, at such a time where students' careers are hanging by a thread? Could there have been an alternative solution to this?

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