Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 23 (ANI): Odisha Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo wrote a letter to Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday requesting him to not make it mandatory to conduct final term examinations of undergraduate/postgraduate (UG/PG) in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sahoo in the letter wrote, "I am again writing to you on this matter as we have got no response from the HRD Ministry regarding the request made by the State Government of Odisha. Students and parents have become very anxious and restless due to such uncertainty and are contacting us in large numbers over the telephone as to whether they should start preparing for the examinations or not."
"The COVID-19 situation in the country has worsened in the last 15 days since I wrote to you on July 9. The situation is most likely to aggravate further in the coming months. For the reasons detailed below, it is neither possible nor advisable to conduct UG and PG final year/semester examinations in the State of Odisha as per the revised MHRD/UGC guidelines dated July 6," he added.
The number of UG and PG final semester/year students in Odisha is about 2 lakh. Most of them belong to a low and middle-income group and do not have a desktop or laptop or a decent smartphone at home, the letter read.
"Most of them also stay in rural areas not having a reliable internet connection. Therefore, conducting online examination for such a large number of students is simply not possible. Conducting physical examination will expose the students, the college staff and their family members to the risk of COVID-19," wrote Sahoo.
A number of colleges are presently being used by the District Administrations as quarantine centres, COVID Care Home, COVID Care Centre, COVID Care Hospital, etc. Students coming to these colleges for writing examination will be exposed to the COVID-19 risk, he added.
"Therefore, I once again request you to kindly reconsider the matter and allow the State Public Universities of Odisha to adopt the alternative evaluation guidelines issued by the State Government on June 18 instead of conducting examinations as per MHRD/UGC revised guidelines dated July 6," he added. (ANI)