With no idea of when and how will they get their undergraduate (UG) degrees, students are in a fix about pursuing post-graduation (PG), diploma or doctorate (PhD) programmes. Along with higher studies, students claim the possibility of pursuing internships, Industrial Training Insititute (ITI) courses or research mentorships this year seems bleak, due to the pandemic situation.
Says Yuhan Marzi, a final-year pharmacy student, "I want to do my PG in medicinal research but, I do not know when I will get my pharmacy degree certificate. I cannot opt for admissions to the Master's programme without a UG degree certificate. I do not have any option but to wait for my results. But considering the lockdown situation, universities and colleges are working with limited staff, so assessment and result declaration is bound to take additional time."
Jagruti Marwah, studying for a Master's in pyschology, says, "These last months have been mentally draining. The act of waiting every day for a decision regarding our exams, coupled with the uncertainty of the academic year being delayed, has caused tremendous anxiety. I was pumped up to pursue my PhD in Clinical Psychology but I do not see it happening this year."
Marwah realises how lockdown restrictions may prove hurdles to the actual re-opening of universities. "Even if I prepare myself mentally to study further this year, universities are shut and there are no sign of results being declared or admissions starting anytime soon. Also, field visits for PhD research are out of the question, lest the infection spread. How am I supposed to plan or even prepare for my higher studies in the coming months when the situation is changing every day?" she agonises.
Apart from studies, some students find themselves in jeopardy for lack of internships, ITI courses and mentorships. MBA student Mehul Joshi reveals, "Despite having an MBA in finance, I am not able to get a job because companies are going through financial crisis. I am compelled to take up an internship, which I am pursuing from home for now. I wanted to gain practical knowledge by working on the ground but this internship is virtual, with minimum scope for resolving doubts."
Nisha Gupta, a final-year student of mechanical engineering, speaks of how her well-laid plans have been derailed. "I had planned to work in an automobile industry in the remote districts of Maharashtra, in order to obtain first-hand experience. I cannot opt for ITI courses because industries are not conducting physical coaching. There is no point in pursuing an ITI course online, without being physically present at an industry workshop. Also, I cannot travel due to lockdown restrictions."
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