Updated on: Monday, July 20, 2020, 11:51 PM IST

(Test)ing times for 3.50lakh medical students in state

Barely 15 days left for exams, UG and PG students still clueless of safety norms at centres during Covid crisis

Mumbai: The 3.50 lakh students preparing for exams under medical and dental programmes in Maharashtra burned the midnight oil to pass in flying colours, but today many feel that their careers and lives are at stake. A majority of the medical and dental students claim to have reached a breaking point as the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik has instructed them to download hall tickets for all undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) exams starting from August 3.

The harrowed students claim that though the exam is just two weeks away, there are no clear guidelines on seating arrangement, physical distancing, safety protocol at exam centres, accommodation facilities at hostels or travel advisory.

Over 3.50 lakh students are preparing for exams under medical and dental programmes in Maharashtra, of which more than 70,000 are final year students. Yadu Sawadkar, a nursing student, said, "I have not received any information on how we will be seated inside classrooms or how many students per class? Do we have to carry our own hand sanitisers or will there be sanitisers outside classrooms? Also, I do not know how we are going to maintain physical distance inside exam centres because there are a large number of students per centre."

While Banjari Natrajan, an MBBS student, said, "My college has instructed me to arrive at the hostel by July 23 so that I can be kept in 10 days quarantine. But my college hostel is being used as a COVID-19 quarantine centre. What about my safety at the hostel? What if I contract the virus, get infected or pass it on to other students? Also, there are no patients available for practical exams due to the pandemic situation so I do not know how we are going to perform practicals."

On July 2, MUHS, which governs all medical colleges in the state, released the time-table for all theory and practical exams of medical and dental programmes starting from August 3, 2020. The MUHS directed all exam centres to have a minimum of seven classrooms each of 30 benches. While on July 18, MUHS informed all students to download hall tickets.

Dr Tatyarao Lahane, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said, "We will follow all safety protocol and precautionary measures during exams as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines."

On the other hand, medical and dental students are still fighting demanding cancellation of exams. The Maharashtra Students Welfare Association (MSWA) wrote a letter to the Chief Minister (CM) on Monday demanding cancellation of medical exams. Vaibhav Edke, president of MSWA said, "All medical and dental exams should be cancelled in view of the COVID-19 risks." While 25 students of various medical and dental programmes have filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court (HC) demanding cancellation of final year exams.

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Published on: Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 06:00 AM IST