Final year exam row: Over 2.35 million join #ProtestAgainstExamsInCOVID to pressurise Modi govt

Over 2.35 million supporters took to Twitter by posting #ProtestAgainstExamsInCOVID on Friday which became the top trend demanding no final year exams amidst the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Though the direction regarding the conduct of final year exams is pending in the Supreme Court (SC), students from different states staged the online protest to pressurise the central government to cancel exams amidst the pandemic crisis for the safety of students.

On Friday, final year students, members of various student organisations and unions staged a nationwide protest on Twitter by posting messages, videos, photographs holding placards stating #NoExamsInCovid, #NoJusticeNoVote, and #CancelFinalYearExams. Various activists, artistes, YouTubers, and social media influencers supported students by posting messages against the conduct of final exams.

Shruti Deshpande, a final year engineering student said, "It is a strong movement to see students of both remote districts and metropolitan cities unanimously opposing conduct of final year exams. We should not be forced to put our health and the lives of our family members at risk." While, Tanuj Khanna, a final year student of finance, said, "We will continue protesting till a decision is taken in our favour keeping in mind our health and safety. The authorities cannot give a blind eye to the united voice of students."

Vaibhav Edke, president of Maharashtra Students Welfare Association (MSWA), said, "While we are waiting for a final direction from the SC regarding exams, we want to continue our fight by highlighting that exams cannot be conducted in the current Covid-19 pandemic situation. We want to pressurise the central government and communicate the plight of students. A large number of support gained for the protest indicates the gravity of the situation."

While, Aamir Kazi, Mumbai Secretary of All India Students' Federation (AISF) said, "The fact that students of different states have stood together in such crucial times to oppose the University Grants Commission (UGC) exam guidelines indicates that the central government is playing dirty politics by forcing students to appear for exams. Students should be promoted based on their previous performance because their lives cannot be risked by conducting exams amidst the pandemic crisis."

On August 18, the Supreme Court (SC) conducted the final hearing on the pleas seeking cancellation of the final term examination in view of Covid-19 situation and stated that a judgement will be passed soon. Students await a final direction by the apex court.

Along with final year exams, many students and supporters staged a protest demanding postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

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