Varsities must ensure safety before holding online exams: UGC

New Delhi: Amid the current coronavirus crisis across the country, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said universities must take care of the on-ground situation before deciding on holding online examinations.

According to the UGC, before conducting online examinations, the COVID-19 guidelines set by the state and Central governments should be strictly adhered to. The safety of students and teachers must be given primary importance during the pandemic.

The statutory body has urged universities across the country to keep their campus premises safe from the pandemic. The UGC has said universities should encourage students and other staff to get vaccinated.

UGC Chairman D.P. Singh has written a letter to universities across the country over tackling COVID-19. The letter said universities should remain united in the fight against the coronovirus pandemic.

In the letter addressed to all vice-chancellors of universities and principals of colleges, the UGC Chairman has said to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, higher educational institutions should be remain in touch with students, teachers, education staff, officials and their family members. There is a need to work collectively for the physical, mental health and safety of all people, he added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has written a letter to Singh. “We request the UGC to review its decision for the terminal semester year students. We request that the deadline be extended for MPhil, PhD submissions similar to that during the previous year,” DUTA said.

According to DUTA,”The families of the teachers who have died in Delhi University (DU) should be granted jobs on compassionate grounds. Also the overall situation related to the death of teachers in DU has been apprised to the UGC.”

DUTA President Rajib Ray has said pension and gratuity should also be given immediately to retired teachers. Additional funds should also be arranged for teachers and staff working on contract during the pandemic, he added.