The Supreme Court (SC) announced on Monday that it will be hearing the matter concerning the final year examinations on July 31. Meanwhile, students urge that the apex court should take a decision in this matter on priority basis in order to prevent any delay in their academics and future job prospects. They will, however, continue their demand for cancellation of examinations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 10.18 lakh final year students of various programmes in Maharashtra await a decision regarding the examinations. Students, members of political parties and student unions have been staging several online and offline protests and writing letters to oppose the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to conduct examinations amidst the pandemic.
Each day of waiting and uncertainty adds to the mental stress, said Feroza Zulfi, a final year mechanical engineering student. Zulfi said, "I wake up with anxiety every morning, dreading to check the news, all while hoping for a favourable decision regarding exams. Now that the SC has decided to hear the matter on Friday, I cannot be at peace for the next three days. The central government, UGC and the Supreme Court should realise the mental trauma they are causing to students."
Students, irrespective of their programmes, belonging states and political affiliations have come together to stand united, demanding the cancellation of final year examinations. Satish Gore, state coordinator for education and universities' outreach at the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) said, "Students from remote areas and big cities, irrespective of their personal backgrounds and beliefs, have come together to take a stand against examinations. If students can overlook their personal situations and consider the larger pandemic crisis at hand, why is the SC and central government delaying the final decision?"
The state government is firm on its decision of cancelling the final year examinations because of the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra. Yuva Sena, backed by the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and student unions, has filed a writ petition in the SC against the UGC decision, which will be heard on July 31.