Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the Centre’s decision to allow colleges and universities to conduct final year examinations amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India was unfair. Gandhi demanded that the University Grants Commission promote students on the basis of their past performance.

Gandhi said that UGC was creating confusion among the students. “COVID-19 has harmed many people in the country,” Gandhi said in a video message as part of his party’s ‘SpeakUpforStudents’ campaign. “Students in schools, colleges and universities had to suffer a lot. IITs [Indian Institute of Technology] have also cancelled exams. UGC should do the same.”

Earlier this week, the Union Home Ministry allowed universities and institutions to conduct their final year examinations as per UGC’s guidelines. The exams have been pending since March due to the imposition of a lockdown to contain the coronavirus.

The UGC said that the end-of-term exams can be held by September-end in offline, online, or blended (online + offline) modes. UGC added that terminal semester or final year students who have backlogs should compulsorily be evaluated by conducting exams.

Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have already cancelled their college and university examinations. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has constituted an 11-member committee to make its recommendations on the matter.

The Centre has announced several measures over the last few weeks to ease the academic burden on students during the pandemic. The Central Board of Secondary Education on Tuesday said it will reduce the syllabi for Classes 9 to 12 for the academic year 2020-’21 by up to 30% due to the coronavirus crisis. Some Class 10 and 12 board exams were also cancelled.

India reported a record 26,506 new cases on Friday morning, pushing the country’s tally to 7,93,802. The toll in the country rose to 21,604 with 475 new deaths. However, more than 4.95 lakh people in India have recovered.

Follow today’s live updates on the coronavirus.

Read our top 10 Covid-19 updates.