Maharashtra arms itself with state disaster management authority’s view against holding exams

Minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant told reporters that the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority has said that under the present circumstances, the state cannot hold the exams.

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority has reiterated that the examinations mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will not be possible in the state because of the viral pandemic.

The authority conveyed this to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other ministers on Monday at a meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the state in the backdrop of the UGC’s advice that examinations should be held for both professional and non-professional courses.

Minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant told reporters that the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority has said that under the present circumstances, the state cannot hold the exams. This is the second time that the authority has said that the situation is not conducive for holding exams in the state.


The meeting is being seen as a move by the state to legally buttress its point. Sources said the state is readying to take on the Centre on the issue and has begun seeking legal opinion on it.

“We have done an analysis of the situation and there have been more cases in the state since the last disaster management meeting. Hence, we have reiterated that under the present circumstances, we cannot hold the exams within the next two months in the state, as it would mean playing with the lives of students,” said Samant.

The minister claimed that Maharashtra is not alone and several other states, including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Haryana and Meghalaya, have expressed their inability to hold exams. Samant said,
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“We are not opposed to exams, but cannot hold it now, as colleges have become quarantine centres, Covid centres in places like Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad. There are one crore people in containment zones in the state. The UGC should state what should be the guidelines for the students living in the containment zones. They should clarify if they would take responsibility if the students get infected.”

The minister claimed that the state has taken the decision in the interest of the students and the state cannot play with the lives of 850,000 students. According to Samant, the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 give the states powers to override the UGC, and hinted that the state had been seeking legal opinion on the issue.
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