Exams to be conducted amidst the increase in COVID-19 cases.

In the last few days, there has been a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in India. States like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Odisha and Telangana have started reporting an increase in the number of cases compared to last week. For states like Telangana, Karnataka or Odisha, it could be because of an increase in the number of tests being done, but the other states, not so much.

The highest rise has been seen in Maharashtra. More than 16,000 new cases were detected yesterday on 29th August. The state has been discovering less than 12,000 cases a day, before this spill. Mumbai has been adding more than 1,000 cases each day.

As the lockdown has been eased and with Ganeshostav coming to an end, an official said, “With travel, curbs eased, many people have travelled to meet their families and started returning. It is likely cases could increase.” Local factors can also contribute to this increase. A doctor at a civic hospital said that the people don’t follow the norms regarding social distancing or masks. If Mumbai faces a second wave, it will be a failure to stick to such norms.

However, The MHA has ordered to reopen some facilities in Unlock 4.0, while the lockdown continues in containment zones till September 30. The new guidelines have been decided based on feedback received from the states.

Also, the Supreme Court’s order, that no student should pass without giving exams is problematic. Abhilasha Shrivastava, a member of the All India Students Association asked, “When the parliament, courts and offices are all functioning remotely, is conducting exams okay? Will trains, buses and accommodation be made available for students? What about the students in rural areas who do not have access to resources?”

However, with the number of cases rising every minute in Mumbai it doesn’t make sense to conduct exams in various centres. The students won’t have the means to travel and not everyone can afford to go by cab. Even if they manage to reach to the centre, what will be the safety measures for them? Can the government guarantee that no student will be infected with this virus? Are the exams more important than the lives of the students?

The government is going to start the metro in unlock 4.0 and has said that no tokens will be provided, so, everyone should possess a smart card but what about the crowd that will be there in these metros. 

In March 2020, the Tablighi Jamat was questioned for conducting a huge gathering and blamed for spreading coronavirus in the nation. Will conducting exams not gather a lot of people in one place? Will, the students not get infected because of it?

Nevertheless, the lockdown has been imposed from March, so how do they plan on taking exams when the syllabus hasn’t been taught to the final year students. Is the government planning to reduce the portion for the final years examination?

The Education Minister says that the exams should be conducted and on the other hand the Health minister says that COVID pandemic shouldn’t be taken lightly, are they unsure about their decisions?

The idea that was propounded by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, of passing the final year students based on the aggregate grading system, actually made more sense and was also practical. He had said in a live video Broadcast while addressing the public, “Institutes must use the previous semester grades to pass the candidates. We don’t want the academic year of students to get wasted.” 

The Maharashtra government is going to release its plan on the 31st of August about conducting the final exams in Universities, according to Hindustan Times. They have made a committee that will look at all the aspects of conducting exams and then the formal decision will be taken.

In hopes, that the Centre realises that the need of the hour is not to conducted exams but to conducted more COVID-19 tests and control the spread of the pandemic.

Image Credits- The Indian Express

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