Published: 23rd July 2020
Except final years, exams cancelled for all other college students by Tamil Nadu CM EPS
Based on the recommendations of a high-level committee, the Tamil Nadu CM issued an order to promote all other students across streams
In a move that has brought relief to thousands of students across Tamil Nadu, the state's Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that with the exception of the final year students, all the others would be promoted to the next year and that their end of semester exams stood cancelled. The official communique also said that this was a one-time measure that had been put in place in view of the COVID pandemic and that the examination dates for final year students would be announced soon.
For over two months now, students have been stuck in limbo with announcements about their semester exams coming sporadically amid the five lockdowns that the state has seen — interspersed with a spike in COVID cases, especially in the capital, Chennai. Several Twitter campaigns including the #CancelAUexams by engineering students studying in several colleges affiliated to Anna University have fuelled the debate about when exams will be conducted.
All of that was put to rest finally on July 23. "We have taken this decision based on the unanimous recommendations of the high-powered committee that was formed to oversee this process. They have suggested that the final exams be conducted in September and the results published within a fortnight. We are also looking at conducting it in a simpler format but nothing is concrete at this point," said an official with the state's Higher Education Department.
The CM's note detailed that this automatic promotion would apply to students studying in:
a) First and Second years studying UG programmes in Arts and Science Colleges
b) First, Second and Third years studying UG programmes in Engineering Colleges
c) First years doing Post Graduate programmes in Arts and Sciences and Engineering colleges as well as MCA courses
d) First and Second years studying ITI, Industrial Training and other allied courses
The CM's order also said that this was in line with the recommendations given by the UGC and AICTE in this regard and that a detailed Government Order would follow.
Maharashtra was among the first states to promote their students because of the staggering effect of the pandemic, but students have since raised the issue of how their academic prospects have been affected by having COVID PROMOTED written on their marksheets instead of marks or grades/GPA. It remains to be seen if the TN government has since found an alternative to this issue, should it crop up here.