PANAJI: As the Covid-19 positivity rate rises rapidly in Goa, Goa University (GU) issued a circular on Thursday postponing all its offline exams scheduled from January 14 by three weeks. The exams will now be held from February 7 onwards.
The decision came hours after the Goa University on Thursday stated before the high court of Bombay at Goa that it would hold a meeting to deliberate upon the issue of holding of online examination of all streams and inform its decision to the court on January 14 on petitions seeking conduct of online exam for final year students due to an upsurge of Covid-19 infection in the state.
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“We hope that the university will consider the safety of the students and other members of the society before taking the decision,” a division bench comprising justices Sadhana Jadhav and Manish Pitale observed .
During the hearing of the case, Parag Rao, petitioner’s lawyer presented to the court a tabular chart showing the exponential rise in number of Covid cases per day. He said that in such a situation it would be better to be safe than to be sorry subsequently.
The counsel appearing for the university said that the online examinations are being conducted only to maintain the standards of education and assessment of the students . Subsequently, the counsel said that the university will conduct a meeting on the issue on January 13 and inform the decision to the court on January 14 at 10.30am.
Accordingly, the GU issued a circular later stating “In accordance with the Special Ordinance OS-1 relating to the conduct of examinations during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided that all the offline examinations of the general and professional programmes scheduled to start on January 14, onwards are postponed by three weeks and shall be conducted from February 7 onwards.”
As per a circular issued by GU on January 4, final year examinations were to take place in the offline or physical mode. For all other students of undergraduate programmes, the University had said that the exams would take place in the online mode.
The semester end examinations for postgraduate programmes at GU as well as in the affiliated general stream colleges were also to be held in the offline mode.
The decisions were taken on January 4 after university vice-chancellor Harilal B Menon held consultations with principals of colleges across the state. However, many students had demanded that the final year and PG examinations should not be conducted in the offline mode, due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the state.
The university in its statement on January 4 had said that it was decided that final year exams should be conducted physically in an endeavour “to uphold the highest possible academic standards of the university degrees in the current pandemic situation”.
Over the last one week, students had also protested holding off-line exams. National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) had met governor PS Sreedharan Pillai on Monday, urging him to convince the government to hold online exams and classes. Students were also detained last week for trying to march to the CM’s official residence.