Many students said that they had lost faith in the central government and UGC
Many students said that they had lost faith in the central government and UGC

In response to the Supreme Court's (SC) verdict on Friday regarding the conduct of final year exams, students are disappointed as the apex court has refused to cancel exams. Students have raised questions such as, "When will exams be conducted? How will exams be conducted whether online or offline? What safety and precautionary measures will be taken as there are over 8 to 9 lakh final year students only in Maharashtra? What about colleges and universities currently used as quarantine facilities?"

Final year students state they have lost faith in the central government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) as they are being forced to appear for exams when the number of coronavirus cases is increasing every day. Neha Vinchunkar, a final year Commerce student said, "We have lost a battle which we have been fighting for the last four months. How will the state conduct exams for over nine lakh students? How are we supposed to maintain physical distancing when there are so many students?"

"Who knows when the Covid-19 situation will settle down?", questioned Prithvi Shah, a management student. Shah pointed out, "Can anyone tell when the Covid-19 situation will settle? Can anyone give us at least a probable date of when exams will be conducted? How long should we keep studying while waiting for a final date? Apart from personal mental stress, I am worried about the health and safety of my parents."

Zubeda Vora, a Biology student said, "Cancellation of exams was our only demand, but now the entire focus is on postponement. According to the SC verdict, states can postpone exams based on the decision of the respective disaster management authority. But we had never demanded postponement of exams. Students had always highlighted that exams should be cancelled in view of the pandemic and marks should be given based on alternative methods such as previous performance."

Student unions and organisations, disappointed with the verdict, have raised the issue of travel, commute and safety of students. Siddharth Ingle, founder president of Maharashtra Students Union (MASU) said, "A large number of students have returned to their native villages due to lockdown. How are they supposed to travel to appear for exams? The state will have to start trains and public transport services if they want students to appear for physical exams. Will this not increase the risk of the virus spread?"

While, Vaibhav Edke, president of Maharashtra Students Welfare Association (MSWA) said, "Students should be taken into confidence and consulted before the state takes any decision regarding the conduct of exams in any format. Now that students have to bear the harsh truth that exams will be conducted if not now then later, they should have a right to raise their concerns before the state government."

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Free Press Journal