Courtesy: NDTV

New Delhi: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, in response to the criticism levelled at the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the decision to conduct final-year university exams, that performance in examinations are a “reflection of their (students’) ability, performance and reliability that is essential for global acceptance”.

The new UGC guidelines on examinations was released by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on July 6. In the guidelines, UGC instructs universities to conduct final-year end-semester exams by September 30 and conduct compulsory exams for students with backlogs.

The UGC guidelines have come under heavy criticism from various states, students and teachers who accused the commission and MHRD of putting the students’ lives under risk even as COVID-19 infections and deaths surge across the country. Ministers or officials from Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal have already written, or said they will write, to the Centre saying they cannot hold exams. Opposition parties and their students' wings are running campaigns against the.

UGC Guidelines And Academic Credibility

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal , through his official social media account, said: “It is paramount for us to follow the principles of students' health, their safety, fairness and equal opportunity. Also, ensuring the academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally also matters a lot in the education system.”

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that educational evaluation of students is a very important milestone in any education system. Performance in examinations gives students confidence and satisfaction, It is a reflection of their ability, performance and reliability that is essential for global acceptance, “ he added.

Defending the new UGC guidelines, the minister said that the decision was taken “keeping in view the educational interests of a large number of students”. The minister also said that the exams can be run by the university “whenever possible” so that “there is no inconvenience/harm to the students”.

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Southampton: Pakistan slumped to 126-5 before a third stoppage for rain led to an end to play on the first day of the second test against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

Abid Ali struck 60 after being dropped twice early in his 111-ball innings and was comfortably Pakistan's top scorer on a tough day for the tourists in changing weather.

Jimmy Anderson was retained for the match, despite struggling in England's three-wicket win in the first test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid that faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England's record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 and he is up to 592 in tests.

After the toss won by Pakistan was made under sunny skies, Pakistan began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.

And only about an hour was possible after tea, when Pakistan lost three wickets including Abid, who edged recalled seamer Sam Curran to Rory Burns at second slip.

Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley's drop diving to his left at third slip.

As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket.

That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first test innings in 11 years after being recalled and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.

Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4.

Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.