Odisha higher education department has decided to cancel all the final year/semester examinations for this academic calendar for all the university and institutions falling under its jurisdiction, reports Times of India.

The decision was prompted due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state and to avoid chances of students contracting the infection during examinations.

Odisha has become the second state after Maharashtra to have cancelled the final year/semester exams. The following decision applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses except for medical courses in the state.

The decision contradicts the guidelines suggested by the UGC which had recommended cancelling only first and second year exams and conducting the final year exams in the month of July and August.

The report adds that universities and colleges will give some weightage to internal assessment and some weightage to marks from previous semester/years to come up with a score and declare the results in the month of August.

If students have issues with the scores or think they can improve it, they can sit for exams that will be conducted in the month of November and the results will be declared in the month of December 2020.

The government statement says that for students who have two or fewer backlogs from previous years/semesters, this decision will be applicable to them. Students with more than two backlogs will have to sit for the exam whenever it is scheduled.

The decision was reached in a meeting between Higher Education Minister, Arun Kumar Sahoo, and VCs of various state public universities and principals of autonomous colleges, adds the report.

The state has registered more than 3,350 COVID-19 cases with 12 deaths reported until Thursday. The total number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 2.95 lakh figure yesterday with around 8500 deaths.