The Maharashtra government has requested the University Grants Commission (UGC) to consider directly promoting students of final year of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant shared the image of a letter he wrote to the UGC on Twitter.

In the letter, Samant wrote that it would be challenging to conduct exams of approximately eight to 10 lakh students, while maintaining all safety protocols. According to him, final year exams should not be held this year.

Samant also informed the UGC that the state government had decided to promote students of diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to next year, except candidates of final year. However, this does not apply to medical, agricultural and animal husbandry universities.

The Uddhav Thackeray government had appointed a state-level committee to offer recommendations on the conduct of examinations and the academic calendar based on UGC guidelines. The committee had advised the state government to promote the students to next year.

Earlier this month, Samant said that all final year students would be taking exams between 1 July and 30 July.He also clarified that students from the remaining years would be promoted to the next year.

The decision to hold exams for final year came after a UGC-appointed committee suggested that universities may conduct exams in July.

According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, COVID-19 has infected over 35,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 1,200 in Maharashtra. Around 8,400 people have recovered from coronavirus in the state.

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