'Hold exams while ensuring COVID-19 doesn't spread'

Hold exams while ensuring coronavirus infection doesn't spread: Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday spoke with vice-chancellors of various universities and said that examinations should be held while ensuring that it doesn't lead to the spread of coronavirus.

An official statement quoted the chief minister as saying that "it is becoming clear that examinations cannot be held in July", but the uncertainty in this regard should be ended and all options should be explored.

Technical and Higher Education Minister Uday Samant, Minister of State Prajakt Tanpure, chief secretary Ajoy Mehta and senior officials also took part in the video conference.

"University examinations should be held ensuring not a single student gets infected by novel coronavirus....The worries of students and parents should be ended by determining the exact method of examination and (finalizing) the schedule," Thackeray said, as per the statement.

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The pandemic situation in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad, which are hotspots of infection, is changing constantly, the chief minister noted.

It should be seen if the crisis can be turned into an opportunity with the use of technology, he added.

As examinations were postponed after the outbreak of virus, students are worried, he noted.

Thackeray also said that universities should find out how teaching is being conducted at foreign varsities.

"Coronavirus should be dubbed an eye-opener. Healthcare facilities need to be prioritized. Similarly, education needs to be seen as essential," Thackeray said, according to the statement.

The chief minister, during the interaction, also called for ensuring that the quality of education is the same across the state and there is no "regional disparity".

Alternatives such as e-learning and digital classrooms should be explored, he added.

Samant said all options for holding examinations were being explored.

Tanpure said the government was in touch with students and parents and taking efforts to ensure that examinations were held. 

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