Over 180 universities have already conducted exams for their students while another 234 are planning to hold tests in online in the months of August and September, according to data available with higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC).
Shortly after it issued guidelines on exams on April 6, in which exams for final year students were mandated, the UGC had written to different universities seeking to know the status.
Of the 640 universities which wrote back to the regulator, over 450 said they had either conducted the exams or were planning to do so in the coming months.
According to the data, accessed by HT, 182 universities have conducted the exams either in online or offline modes. 234 universities said that they were planning to do the same in August or September. Around 30 universities are waiting for directions from their statutory councils before they hold the exams.
According to information available with the regulator, 177 universities are yet to take a final call on holding these tests. In case of 27 private universities, which were set up in 2019-20, the batches in various courses are yet to enter the final year, so they don’t have to hold these exams.
Earlier, the UGC had on the basis of recommendations of a committee headed by Central University of Haryana (CUH) Vice Chancellor R C Kuhad said that universities should conduct the exams for students passing out of various courses in either online, offline or blended more (combination of online and offline).
The UGC has opined that holding exams is important to retain the credibility of the Indian education system and would be in the interest of students.
However, states like Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi had expressed difficulty in conducting exams in view of the pandemic. The Delhi government had said that it was in favour of cancelling all exams.
The Punjab government, it is learnt, had also written to UGC to reconsider its suggestions. The regulator is learnt to have asked it find a suitable way to hold the tests. The HRD ministry has also released guidelines on how exams can be held.
The ministry has also felt that even state and private universities should abide by the guidelines of the UGC, which is entrusted with maintaining educational standards.
“The UGC has sought the data from various universities. In what is a positive sign, a large number of them have either held exams or are in the process. The UGC believes that holding exams for final year students would be greatly beneficial to their long-term prospects,” said a person familiar with the developments.
Of the 640 universities from which the UGC has received response were 120 Deemed universities, 229 private, 251 state universities and 40 central varsities. There are around 1000 universities in the country.