Published: 12th August 2020
Students are not asking for free degrees: Why this parents' body is opposing the UGC guidelines
The India Wide Parents Association, represented by advocate Anubha Sahai has petitioned the Supreme Court against the UGC guidelines
Conducting of examinations during the pandemic is not a decision that many would agree to. Along with the students, a parent body too has recently moved the Supreme Court against the UGC guidelines that directed universities to conduct their examinations before September 30. The India Wide Parents Association, which had recently raised its voice also against the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India examinations and the postponement of JEE and NEET is represented by senior advocate Anubha Sahai, who is also the organisation's president.
Sahai, who vehemently opposes the examinations — online, offline and blended, says that the universities can easily evaluate its students based on their past performances and examinations. "Sure, some students may be able to appear for online examinations. But what about students in remote areas and areas with a weak internet connection?" asks Sahai. She also tells us how the University of Delhi had failed in its attempt to conduct online examinations.
The authorities contend that students who missed these exams will be, however, allowed to write examinations at a later time, once the pandemic is under control. This will have its own repercussions. Sahai cites an example, "I know a student who got a job offer from Bajaj. He could not attend his university's online examinations, which means he will have to write it later. The student is now on the verge of losing his job offer." She says that this isn't an isolated case.
Now conducting offline examinations when COVID cases are rising will be impractical, says Sahai. "This is why the UGC guidelines create inequality among students and pose a threat to their life. It challenges Article 14 and 21 of the constitution," she says. "The best possible way here is to evaluate the students based on their past performance. This is an extraordinary situation. Also, the students are not asking for a free degree," she adds.
Sahai wonders what stops the UGC from doing it when a few IITs and state universities have followed this evaluation system. "The government shouldn't be this adamant. Instead of dragging the case, it should take appropriate action," she adds.