Cancellation of exams for final year students during Covid-19 in Maharashtra.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the education sector across the world, the situation is grave in India as well.The current situation is very alarming and we are seeing a escalation in the total cases as we write this. This period of lock-down has not been easy on any of us, physically and mentally.

Keeping the unprecedented situation in mind and the future of college students being at stake, a committee was appointed for assessment and draw a conclusions to take further decisions. The decision was announced by State Higher & Technical Education Minister, Shri. Uday Samant on 8th May 2020, that all university students in Maharashtra, EXCEPT those of the Final Year, will be promoted without examination being held, on the basis of their previous performances due to #COVID19 lock-down. The Final Year examinations are to be held from 1st to 30th of July. We the students firmly believe that this decision to not promote final year students as well and to conduct their exams so late AND during these unprecedented circumstances is not in our best interests.  While making this decision, the committee should have considered the following points:

1. Students strongly believe that exams(Physical or Online) should not be conducted because:

a)They don't believe they are in the sound mindset to appear for the exams.

b)Their parents are not willing to send them for exams.

c)They do not feel safe to travel by public transport.

2.Parents of several students are daily wage earners and current pandemic has further worsened already deprived condition.

3.Many students neither have computer nor internet connectivity at home, nor have they been trained for online exams.

4.Final year students believe that they will be at significant disadvantage for admissions to universities for higher education if results are further delayed. Many students are even trying for Higher Education abroad, this decision will hinder the admission process.

5. Final students who were selected during placements, their joining will be deferred by companies they are placed in.  

6. Students in graduation need final year results in time for their post graduation application.

7. A huge majority of the students are located outside the state of Maharashtra who will have to travel back and arrange for their hospitality and food, for in person exams. This not only puts them at risk of getting infected but also endangers their families and guardians who could possibly be in the 'at-risk group' of Covid-19.

This above survey is based on the observations made by Prof. Aditi Sawant from St.Xavier's College, Mumbai. This questionnaire was circulated on 28th April and within 12 hours, 4059 students had reverted back with the above data. Following is the link for the same :

Conducting exams in person could put a large amount of students at risk and act against our motive of flattening the curve. especially when colleges can become vectors of rapid spread very quickly. Conducting exams online would be ideal case given that everyone has an equal opportunity which is not case here. 

Maharashtra is epicenter of Coronavirus spread. There is risk involved not only to the students but even to the faculty members and even examination committee. Some colleges have provided their hostel facility as quarantine zones. In this situation there is no place for hostelites to stay. Hence, students strongly suggest that results of this semester or academic year should be on the basis of average of internal exams evaluation and previous marks.

We request you to sign this petition and help us urge the Higher Education Ministry and Shri. Uday Samant to look into this. This will ensure that our safety and the safety of our society is given priority and together we can help flatten the curve.