The wait goes on. However, the Supreme Court (SC) adjourned the matter on the final year examinations to August 10 has left students both disappointed and relieved. The apex court has directed states to submit notifications of their respective state disaster management authorities by August 7. For students, this wait could delay their plans for higher education and their future job prospects. The reports submitted by the state disaster management authorities are expected to give a ground level picture of COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 10.18 lakh final year students of various programmes in Maharashtra await a firm decision regarding examinations. Students have opposed the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of July 6 for conducting final year examinations by September end. Mukesh Kumar, a final year student of management studies said, "I have been waiting for the last four months, but the wait just seems to get prolonged. I am worried about securing a job. I need to support my family in such crucial times, but I cannot get a job without completing my degree."
I might lose my job placement if I do not submit my degree certificate, said Leela Bhandhary, a final year student of engineering. Bhandhary said, "I am glad that Maharashtra will have a chance to show a clear picture of the intensity of the COVID-19 situation. But, I hope this process is completed soon. I thought I was the fortunate one to have secured a job via campus placement. But, the company will not allow me to start working until I submit my degree certificate. I do not know how long the company will wait or I might have to give up the job if it is too late."
Along with jobs, students said they are anxious about losing opportunities to pursue higher education due to the delay in the final examination decision. Orlando Aranha, a final year Science student said, "I want to pursue my post graduation abroad, but the academic year in foreign universities begins in September. I do not know if I will be able to apply for higher studies, considering it is already August and there is no decision made regarding the examinations."
Siddharth Ingle, founder president of the Maharashtra Students Union (MASU) said, "Students are disappointed as the wait brings anxiety and stress. But it is a good sign as the disaster management authorities can submit the numbers of coronavirus patients in Maharashtra and the present risks involved." While Vaibhav Edke, president of Maharashtra Students Welfare Association (MSWA) said, "Students are waiting to pursue higher studies and get on with their jobs. We hope a firm decision is taken soon."