The Union Home Ministry has allowed universities and institutions to conduct its final year examinations. A statement released by the Home Ministry said the exams were to be conducted as per the University Grants Commission (UGC). The exams have been pending since March 2020 due to the country-wide coronavirus lockdown.

The home ministry has written to the higher education secretary about the same. “The final term examinations are to be compulsorily conducted as per the UGC guidelines on examinations and academic calendar for the universities; and as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” a press release by the ministry said.

The UGC released fresh guidelines saying the end-of-term exams can be held by September end. The UGC guidelines said the final year exams be held by the universities by the end of September in offline, online, or blended (online + offline) mode, reports NDTV.

The guidelines added that the students of terminal semester or final year who have backlogs should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting exams in offline or online or blended (online + offline) mode as per viability and feasibility.

If a candidate of the terminal semester or final year is unable to appear in the exams, they may be given an opportunity to appear in special examinations for such courses or papers, which may be held by the universities as and when possible, according to the UGC guidelines. This is so that the students do not face any inconvenience or disadvantage, the NDTV report adds.

The revised UGC guidelines said that the ones released in April 2020 regarding intermediate semester will remain unchanged.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” said in case students cannot appear in September, provisions will be made so they can take the exams later.

Several states have already cancelled their college and university exams. This includes Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, and West Bengal. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has constituted an 11-member committee to recommend a decision.

The UGC regulates 945 universities across the country, including 412 state universities and 53 central universities. All educational institutions have been closed since March, although many have started online classes.