The tiff between Maharashtra Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari and CM Uddhav Thackeray over the issue of final year university exams snowballed on Tuesday, with the governor overruling the decision taken by Thackeray of cancelling university exams on account of the coronavirus outbreak. Since the governor is also the chancellor of universities in the state, he sought to assert his right, saying that the chancellor has the final say and that the decision to hold exams for final year students “shall be taken in consonance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act”.
In a strongly worded letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, Koshyari described the announcement of the cancellation of examination by the Chief Minister as “unprecedented”, “arbitrary” and made “without any profound thinking on the legal repercussions”, furthering that the decision, if implemented, would jeopardize the future of students.
He was “surprised” to learn through media reports that the CM had declared that “no examinations shall be conducted this year”, Koshyari said.
The governor said that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors constituted by the Minister for Higher and Technical Education to analyse the situation and to explore various options available to conduct the examinations had prepared a report which had not presented to him.
Koshyari also pointed out that during his video conference with Vice chancellors all the Vice chancellors of state universities had communicated their preparedness for conducting their respective examinations.
Maharashtra Governor said examinations cannot be made optional
The Governor has objected to the state government’s move to take aggregate marks of the previous semesters to the final year students. “The arbitrary decision has violated the basic principle that to obtain an identical degree, there cannot be two sets of criteria, one who has given examination and for the other who has obtained marks on an average. The examinations cannot be made optional.” Koshyari has written in his letter to the Chief Minister.
Thackeray announced to cancel final exams for university students
Thackeray in an address to the State on Sunday evening announced that with the lockdown extended till June 30, the state has no choice but to promote final-year students based on their performance of the previous semester and academic year.
Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said in its editorial on Tuesday that the Governor insisted on holding the final year exams of degree students, but Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray rejected it, showing “the spine Thackerays are known for”.