With less than 10 days left, students appearing for second and third year medical, dental and paramedical undergraduate (UG) course examinations scheduled to begin from June 10 have appealed for online mode citing Covid-19 risks. But the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik which governs all medical and dental colleges of Maharashtra has stated it is not possible to conduct exams via online mode.
Students have submitted a letter to MUHS stating over 3,000 students across MUHS-affiliated medical institutes and colleges have tested positive for Covid-19, or have a close family member who is affected or infected. Also, students said conducting exams offline will compel them to travel to Mumbai from their native places amidst Covid risks.
of falling prey to the spread of virus infection.
Chandan Upadhyay, a student said, "I am scared to return to Mumbai from my native in Ahmednagar. The number of coronavirus cases is going down in Mumbai but it is still risky. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray has himself announced that we should not let our guard down. But on the other hand, medical students are being pushed to take several risks and appear for exams amidst such crisis."
Another student from the All India Medical Students' Association (AIMSA) on request of anonymity said, "If exams for all other major UG programmes can be conducted via online mode, why are medical students forced to appear for offline exams. We are going to work on the frontlines in the near future, our lives should not be risked at this stage. India needs more doctors and paramedics considering the pandemic situation."
But MUHS said the exams will be conducted via offline mode with all necessary Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and precautionary measures. A senior official of MUHS said, "Conducting exams via online mode will be difficult for several students and therefore exams will be conducted in offline mode. Medical colleges and institutes have started implementing safety measures. All Covid-19 SOPs and precautionary measures will be initiated at medical college hostels too." The exams are scheduled to be conducted from June 10 to June 30, 2021.
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