With no clarity on when the new academic year will begin, students pursuing under- and post-graduate programmes are worried about reduced time for the following year of study. Students promoted to the final year claim they may get less time to prepare for their final exams because of the delays on account of the pandemic situation.
"Classes usually begin by mid-June or the first week of July, so that we get enough time to prepare for our final two semesters," said Ishan Zain, a student promoted to the final-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) programme. Zain said, "The government plans to begin the academic year from September. That leaves us with just five months to prepare for our final-year exams scheduled in March 2021. How are we supposed to complete the syllabus in such a short span?"
Zain suggests that universities and colleges begin online classes, to avoid loss of academic hours. "Instead of waiting till September, universities should start online classes now. Most of us have smartphones and personal computers, so we can use this lockdown time to access digital lectures. If we waste time now, we might have to face repercussions later next year."
Some students promoted to the final year have not yet received their marksheets, given that universities and colleges are working at minimum staff strengths. Charmi Mishra, a student promoted to the final year of her Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) course, said, "My college has informed that they are still curating average marks. I have been told I am promoted to the final year but have yet to receive my marksheet. This delay is because colleges are working with minimun staff."
The state government is focusing on existing final-year students, without any measures for the next batch, said Falguni Desai, a student promoted to her final PG year in Political Science. Desai said, "The state has been focussing on resolving the issue of final-year students by cancelling their exams and providing a chance for optional exams. But while it is dealing with the current last-year students, the next batch of final-year students has already arrived. If we do not start the academic year soon, the next academic cycle will be deferred too."