Monsoon session postponed to August 3

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The monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature will be held from August 3 instead of June 22, as scheduled earlier. This was announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday after a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).

“The BAC met and reviewed the novel coronavirus situation in the State, and it was unanimously decided to postpone the monsoon session to August 3. We are all fighting against the virus and I am sure that the situation will improve,” the Chief Minister said.

Mr. Thackeray said if needed, a special one-day session could be called to pass the supplementary demands, which are funds required for various departments apart from the budget allotments. “The finance department will inform us about the requirement before we decide,” the Chief Minister said.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the opposition had agreed to the proposal to postpone the monsoon session. “We are even ready for a special session to pass supplementary demands. It was also discussed that all members may not be present. Special conditions require special efforts and we will support the government,” he said.

Pawar snubs Governor

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari may have “more knowledge than universities like Oxford as he is insisting on holding final year exams”.

His remarks come against the backdrop of Mr. Koshyari and the government indulging in a war of words over cancellation of final year university examinations. Mr. Koshyari is against cancelling the examinations and has told the government that they come under his authority.

“A number of well-known universities, in India and abroad, have cancelled their examinations. If private universities too are taking similar decisions, then I don’t think any such decision taken by the State government is wrong. Honourable Governor may have more knowledge in this subject and that’s why he is saying things differently,” Mr. Pawar said at a press conference in Dapoli town during his tour to review the damage due to cyclone Nisarga.

Mr. Thackeray has already announced cancellation of final year exams. He has also offered an option of exams in October for those who want to improve their grades. For other students, average marks or grades of last seven semesters will be given. The government has been saying that holding examinations for lakhs of students by maintaining physical distancing norms will not be possible.

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