Future uncertain: Higher education plans of students go for a toss
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With the final year examination hearing adjourned on Monday by the Supreme Court (SC) to August 14, students state they have missed the chance of applying for admissions to higher studies in the September intake. Students said even if a final decision is taken by mid-August they will not have enough time to apply and submit degree certificates for the September intake both in Indian and abroad universities.

This is the second time the matter has been adjourned after the apex court on July 31 adjourned it to August 10 and now to August 14, 2020. "The fact that the hearing has been adjourned this time leaves us with no option but to give up on our plans of pursuing higher studies this year. All universities and colleges in India and abroad accept admissions in September but it is already mid-August and the matter still has to be heard in the SC," said Indrajeet Shahani, a final year Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) student.

Even if the SC takes a final decision regarding exams on August 14 it will be too late, said Mandakini Krishnan, a final year finance student. Krishnan said, "I wanted to pursue my master's course or MBA in Finance but I cannot seek admission in the September intake without my final year degree certificate. I have to wait for the next intake which is in March. This means that I have lost this entire year and cannot pursue my higher education until March next year."

In Maharashtra, over 10.18 lakh final year students of various programmes await a firm decision regarding examinations as they have opposed the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of July 6, for conducting final year exams citing COVID-19 risks. Following the adjournment by the SC, students claim they are now compelled to give up their plans of higher education due to the delay.

I have already lost the last four months due to the pandemic and now, I cannot even study for the next six months, said Venalyn Machado, a final year Bachelor of Science Information Technology (BSc IT) student. Machado said, "We have been waiting for a final decision regarding our exams since April. Universities abroad are starting the new academic year with online classes from September. But we will not be able to even apply for admissions to Postgraduate (PG) or PhD programmes this year."

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