Tamil Nadu to hold online exams for arrears students

Madras HC orders government to conduct exams within eight weeks

Representational image: iStock

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to revoke its decision to cancel arrear exams in the state and confirmed that it will hold online exams after all.

The government on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that no student would be promoted without attending the online exam.

Earlier in the day, the HC had ordered the government to conduct the exams within eight weeks, according to Puthiya Thalaimurai news channel.

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“We have decided to abide by the guidelines of the UGC. It will be mandatory for all students who have arrears to attend online exams,” advocate-general Vijay Narayan said.

The HC order came on a clutch of petitions, including two filed by former vice-chancellor of Anna University, E Balagurusamy, and advocate Ram Kumar Adithan, challenging the government’s decision to cancel the exams citing the pandemic.

On August 26, 2020, a government order announced cancellation of arrear exams for students in arts, science, engineering and computer application (master’s) programmes, except those in their final years. The government had announced that all students who have arrears (except in their final years) and have paid fees to write the exams will be declared ‘pass’ due to the COVID-19 situation.

This was opposed by several people, including Balagurusamy and Adithan, who petitioned the court against the order. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had also refused to accept the GO and said it was in violation of UGC norms. AICTE also told the court that it could not give degrees to students who had not cleared arrears. The court, on October 7, noted that the GO violated the AICTE’s guidelines.

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