Final year students of technical institutions in the State are a harried lot owing to the uncertainty over whether they would have to write their papers or they would be given general promotion. They are worried that the flip-flop would affect their career. Students from other states are worse off, as most of them had returned to their homes after the announcement by the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan that final year students would be awarded degrees on the basis of their performance in the last semester. Now, the UGC has declared that universities would have to hold final year examinations. “We are not as worried about covid as we are about our future,” Parwati Singh, who is pursuing B. Pharma course from NRI Institute in Bhopal, told Free Press over the phone from her home in Delhi.
Thousands of students in their final years of UG and PG engineering, pharmacy, management, architecture and computer courses, besides those enrolled in diploma courses in polytechnics have become victims of the changing stance of the authorities.
Abhishek Shukla, enrolled in B. Pharma course in the same college, hails from Ayodhya in UP. “We feel cheated,” he said. Abhishek said that initially, it was announced that their exams would begin from June 16. “I was in my home town and somehow I reached Bhopal on June 14. But the very next day, Shivraj ji tweeted that examinations would not be held,” he said. He and his friends, hailing from different districts of UP, decided to return home but they could not get reservation in trains. “We all were stuck in Bhopal for 15 days. We booked wait-listed tickets every day, which got cancelled as they were not confirmed. On June 29, I walked 10 km from my rented house in Patel Nagar to the Habibganj railway station and after queuing up at the counter for six hours, I got a Tatkal ticket for the next day.” Once back home, he came to know that his examinations would be held. “I don’t know how I will go back to Bhopal. The trains are crowded and there is the fear of Corona, too,” he said.
According to him, 60-80% of the students enrolled in technical courses in MP are from other states. The RGPV has given the option to the students from MP to appear in examination from any institution in their district. “But those from other states would have to travel to Bhopal,” he said.
Parwati said that she had already wasted thousands of rupees on buying and cancelling train tickets. “The situation in Delhi is pretty bad. My parents are very reluctant to allow me to travel to Bhopal,” she said.
Rahul Gupta, a BE (Computer Science) student from Gopalganj (Bihar) said that because of the confusion, he was forced to retain his rented room in Bhopal. “The rent amount alone has grown to Rs 10,000,” he said. “No one is even talking about our placement,” he added.
Chandan Kumar from Siwan, Bihar, pursuing BE (Civil Engineering) from Oriental College said that he stayed in Bhopal for the three months of lockdown. “After we came to know that we won’t have to take the examination, I vacated my room, sold my books and notes and returned home. When I was on the train I was informed that exams would be held. I don’t know what to do. I have no books, no notes and I have to appear in the final year exam,” he said.
Vidhi Jain from Tikamgarh, who is studying Applied Videography at SV Polytechnic, Bhopal says she is in a dilemma. “I am staying in Bhopal but my parents have clearly told me that they would not allow me to appear in the examination because of corona scare,” she said.