Maharashtra govt infusing anarchy into state education


Ever since the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government took the reins of Maharashtra, it has been under constant public scrutiny for every wrong reasons leading to nothing but a state of governing anarchy. Considering the overall pattern of ineffective administration in the state, it won’t be wrong to comment that the MVA government has failed miserably in dealing with every issue that has arrived on its doorsteps.  

The state government inherited a legacy of strong, visionary and dynamic leadership marked with fruitful decisiveness exhibited by the Devendra Fadnavis-led government. However, the unorganised and thoughtless decisions taken by the MVA government are a reflection of their obscure pattern of governance.  

 In a response to the circular issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) notifying all the state governments to mandatorily conduct final-year college and university exams, the Maharashtra government citing the Covid-19 situation, however, has conveyed to the Union government that holding exams won’t be possible.

The urgency of the state government to respond to the UGC clearly manifests the state government’s adamancy in taking decisions without proper contemplation.

Besides, what was the need of responding immediately? The state government in its quest to respond in an unwanted exigency has behaved completely oblivious to the consequences that this decision will have on the lives of the students who are graduating from the state of Maharashtra.

 It is unfortunate that the adamancy of the state government has forced them to trivialise the huge disparity of academic qualifications, the students will have to face when evaluated with those graduated from other states having appeared for their final-year examinations.

If a certain domestic or an international employer was to evaluate two students who have graduated from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, it will be very natural of him to hire the one with appropriate academic qualifications. And in the above case, the student having passed out from Maharashtra will verily be in a difficult spot, all thanks to the MVA government’s decisions of not conducting final-year examinations.  

 While the idea of mitigating the risk of exposure of the students to Covid-19 can be understood, however, cancellation of exams can never be a solution. There is a WHO guideline in regards to the social distancing norms which shall be followed while conducting the examinations.

The Maharashtra government’s decision of cancellation of exams also explains its state of ignorance on the basic framework of our governance structure. This came to light when Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari opposed the state government’s move of announcing cancellation of exams. While a lot of noise was made by the MVA stooges initially, but their sheer lack of knowledge was yet again exposed when UGC slapped them with a notice of wrongful conduct in this decision-making process.

 Post the UGC circular, many states including the Congress-governed ones that had earlier declared that the final year examinations would be cancelled have now again commenced consultations with vice-chancellors and important stakeholders to discuss on the mode of the conduct of examinations.

Besides, when the state government can decide to open halls and restaurants, salons, night clubs, etc, following the very same social distancing guidelines, I wonder why the state government has decided to make the professional career of students a roller coaster ride in future.

Now, this decision might serve the purpose of the youngest Thackeray scion and the current state Tourism and Environment Minister who is trying to mobilise the young voters by alluring them with such ephemeral moves, but at what cost? Aaditya Thackeray being a young minister should all the more realise the significance of proper educational qualifications and the following opportunities. Political opportunism in such times of Covid crisis and that also at the cost of students’ professional careers is nothing but a nadir that the MVA government should be ashamed of.  

 Instead of leading by example in the country, the MVA government is running away from its responsibilities. When the exams could have been conducted following the social norms post a certain and justified delay, they were cancelled instead.

The state government has written a letter to the HRD ministry informing that after a detailed consultation with the vice-chancellors and all stakeholders, it would award degrees/certificates to students based on previous semesters.

 However, the decision only reflects a major hue and cry as many loopholes in the decision have not been addressed. The state government has not made it clear what happens to the future of the ATKT (Allowed to Keep Term) students or those pursuing specialisations.

The state of thoughtlessness in the Maharashtra government is evident as not only does it exhibit incompetency of taking decisions but at the same time it also displays ambiguity in whatsoever decision the government has taken. The state government should be aggressive in creating adequate mechanisms through which the exams could be conducted. Sadly, the state government’s adamancy remains perpetual.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr, an American statesman, politician and writer who served as the 26th President of the United States, had once said, “Anarchy is simply the handmaiden and forerunner of tyranny and despotism.” The current situation in the state is no different. The MVA government’s governance reflects absolute anarchy in all their decisions. The latest infusion, unfortunately, is in the state’s education system.

The writer is Media Head and spokesperson, BJP Maharashtra.