On 15th April, the students of colleges affiliated to Uttarakhand Technical University (UTU), took to the streets of Dehradun to demonstrate and raise their voice against the proposed offline examinations later this month. Their demand is the conduction for online examination with the argument that “If the classes of our semester were online, then why we have to sit for its exams in the offline mode?”
Meanwhile, there is a raging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the backdrop which has caused record 2,61,500 cases in a single day and has yet again grappled the heathcare infrastructure of the country. The students have time and again made their concerns clear to the authorities about the impending danger in light of offline examinations. The tremors of the pandemic have also been felt in the university grounds where a number of both teachers and students have been infected; despite which many students still reside in the campus hostels. “How can we be okay with sitting in an auditorium full of people, while this second wave is wrecking havoc in the country?”, said a 1st year civil engineering student.
But after meeting with silence from the other side, outraged students took into their own hands to convey their concerns. A 150- strong crowd raised slogans and created a ruckus in front of the university headquarters, demanding for a prompt action. It was then that the Controller of examination tried to pacify the angry mob by reassuring the CRs of the respective colleges that their demands will be conveyed to state authorities and action would be taken at the earliest. It is the same state authorities that have been engaged in the campaigning of “Haridwar chale” for Kumbh 2021 where so far, over 1000 devotees have been infected with the virus.
It is speculated that the probable outcome of this discourse would be the postponement of the exams. But the students are not onboard with this as well as they feel the worst phase of the pandemic is just getting started and the uncertainty over the conduction of their exams will have a toll on their mental health. On the other hand, the college administration is adamant on the conduction of online examinations as a major portion of their students hail from the remote hilly places of the state and thus, not everyone would have a good internet connection at their disposal. With their interests at loggerheads, one can only watch out the space for developments for the covid-19 is here to stay as of now.
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