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Raj Thackeray opposes holding of final year university exams

Raj Thackeray, in his letter, suggested that Koshiyari should not allow anyone to politicise the issue and the focus should be on the interests of the students.

Updated: May 26, 2020 14:01 IST

By Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times Mumbai

Raj Thackeray, however, said he was not suggesting that all students should be passed without the tests, but that some other solution should be worked out. (Photo by Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has written to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, opposing the holding of final year university tests as they could put the lives of students and their families in danger.

His letter was sent against the background of a face-off between the Maharashtra government and the governor over holding the final year examinations. The state government wants to cancel the tests because of the Covid-19 crisis, but Koshiyari said such a move will violate the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) guidelines. The governor has asked chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to intervene in the matter.

Raj Thackeray, in his letter, suggested that Koshiyari should not allow anyone to politicise the issue and the focus should be on the interests of the students.

He said that since Koshiyari is the chancellor of universities, he was well aware of the confusion regarding the final year examinations.



“Since there is no solution in sight and due to this, thousands of students are suffering, I want to bring to notice the plight of the students,” said Raj Thackeray. Noting that the situation is turbulent, especially in Mumbai and Pune, he wrote: “Then why is there then an unreasonable demand to hold the final year university exams? Why and for whom?”

He also pointed out that Covid-19 is highly infectious, and said, “Keeping this aspect in mind, is it reasonable to ask so many students to step out and sit for the exams? Are they not putting their and their families’ lives at risk?”

Raj Thackeray, however, said he was not suggesting that all students should be passed without the tests, but that some other solution should be worked out with the help of experts, such as basing results on semester examinations or internal tests, or giving the students some projects.

The drama started on Friday, when Koshyari strongly objected to the state government’s recommendation to the UGC to cancel the final year examinations. Koshiyari wrote to the chief minister and said this would amount to a violation of UGC guidelines.

“Students receiving degrees without undertaking examinations would have adverse impact on their higher studies, gradation and employability,” he wrote in his letter.

State higher and technical education minister Uday Samant, who first made the demand, questioned Koshiyari’s stance, which he said came after the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — a student body linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — supported the holding of examinations.

“In Goa, the ABVP demanded cancellation of examinations and in Maharashtra, they want examinations to be held. What kind of politics is this?” said Sawant, who is Shiv Sena legislator.

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