University Grants Commission (UGC) has released another update on various universities’ plans and preparation for conducting the final year/semester examination. The Commission said that at least 603 universities have either conducted the final year/semester exams or plan on conducting, reports NDTV.

The press statement released by the Commission said, ”209 have already conducted examinations (on-line/off-line) and 394 are planning to conduct examinations (on-line/off-line/blended mode) in August or September.” There are a total number of around 950 universities under the UGC purview.

This is third such update provided by the Commission and in every subsequent update, the number of universities planning to conduct the exam has increased. In the previous update reported on July 19, 560 universities had either conducted or had said that they are planning to conduct the exam.

UGC had also said during the previous update that the final year examination in universities and colleges is a must as it contributes to “merit, lifelong credibility, wider global acceptability for admissions, scholarships, awards, placements, and better future prospects”.

There has been a growing demand by students and parents/guardians that UGC should reconsider its insistence on conducting the exam amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening situation. There has also been an online petition on for the same for which more than 15000 people have already signed.

Several states have issued orders which goe against the UGC guidelines and said that they will be cancelling all the university and college examinations in the state amid the COVID-19 crisis. Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have announced the cancellation of all the exams.

UGC had issued guidelines on July 6 asking universities to conduct the final year examinations. Several states and student bodies have requested the Commission to reconsider the decision amidst the growing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Commission has said several times since then that the final year exam is must for all universities.