Own Correspondent, TDN World, New Delhi: Student Islmic Organzation (SIO) has urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to revise its newly issued guidelines on Examinations, Academic Calendar in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

In this regard, SIO National President Labeed Shafi wrote a letter to UGC chairman and urged him to make it more convenient and student-friendly.

SIO also issued a statement with its three-point demand to revise the exam-guidelines and academic schedule in the light of pandemic Covid-19 lockdown.

The Statement

The recently issued UGC guidelines for examinations and revision of academic calendar in the view of Covid-19 pandemic, is an important step taken by UGC and MHRD. The guidelines contain many necessary and important directions and we welcome this intervention by UGC said Labeed Shafi, National President, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO).

However there are a few issues that need clarification and rethinking as well, Shafi said. In this regard, after perusing the document, SIO has the following demands:

• Since India, especially rural regions lack uniform access to technology such as high-speed internet, the guideline to conduct examinations through use of technology such as online exams, will adversely affect tens of thousands of students from rural areas who either lack access to technology or the availability of technology such as high-speed internet is not available in many rural areas. In this situation it will be tough for students to participate in online exams. We demand that the UGC revise its guidelines and provide for default promotion for all students with either the option of, or compulsory appearance for, supplementary/improvement examination at a later date to improve the examination score.

• Holding regular examinations for those streams which do not have alternatives, in spite of safety measures in current circumstances will be inappropriate as it will unnecessarily expose students to the risk of infection. However such exams may be held only in green zones, with appropriate safety measures such as social distancing, sanitization, etc.

• The notice period for examination given in guidelines (one week) is very less. Notice period must be at least 15 days and necessary arrangement for transportation/movement pass, etc., must be ensured.

We have written to the Chairman of UGC in this regard, placing our demands and requesting revision to the guidelines, Shafi added.