Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who is also the chancellor of universities in the state, on Thursday asked vice-chancellors (V-Cs) of non-agricultural universities to complete the entire process of conducting final-year examinations, including declaration of results, by October 31. He also asked all universities to start practical examinations from September 15.
Further, Koshyari gave permission to students to appear for the examinations online from home. The V-Cs were told to conduct the examinations using the best possible mechanism, including multiple choice questions and optical mark recognition method, and to think of conducting offline examinations only in exceptional cases.
The Governor issued these instructions at the end of a video conference meeting he conducted with the V-Cs in the wake of the recent Supreme Court order on conducting final-year exams.
Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant, Minister of State Prajakt Tanpure, Chairman of the committee of vice-chancellors on examination Dr Suhas Pednekar and Additional Chief Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Rajiv Jalota attended the meeting.
Considering the lack of time available for setting question papers, the Governor asked the universities to coordinate with Savitribai Phule Pune University, University of Mumbai and others to prepare question banks.
At the meeting, it was decided that the V-Cs would hold a meeting of their respective board of examinations and academic councils within the next two or three days and prepare time tables for the exam. This paved the way for each university to formulate its own time table for exams, contrary to a common pattern suggested by the state higher and technical education department.
Earlier, Samant had announced that the final-year exams are likely to be conducted in an uniform manner across all 13 non-agricultural universities – a decision to be taken by a six-member state-level committee set up by the government.
Following this, several universities had written to the Governor and the respective V-Cs raising concerns over the move to bypass university bodies such as the board of examination and academic council. As per Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016, such bodies have the power to decide on the mode and dates of conducting exams and announcing results.
The Supreme Court had last week upheld the UGC guidelines and said that no state and university can promote students in the final-year semester without conducting examinations.