Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: With clouds of uncertainty already hovering on the Matric and Plus II exam results this year due to Covid pandemic, the future of the Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) students in Odisha now also hangs in balance.

Odisha government has gone against the order of the University Grants Commission to seek cancellation of the UG and PG examinations in view of the growing cases of COVID-19 in the state.

What is more confusing is the deafening silence of the Odisha Higher Education Department which, as it appears does not want to tread the troubled waters and is sitting tight-lipped on the conduct of the examinations.

With each passing day, the students waiting to apply for jobs or for other studies are reportedly getting anxious. As per some of the students, without the results of final semester examinations, their future, in a way looks bleak.

Varsha Das, an Undergraduate from Jaleswar Women’s Degree College in Balasore said, “We need the results to apply for other studies like B.Ed or post-graduation.”

Similarly another student from Ramadevi University in Bhubaneswar, Vidisha Priyadarshini described the situation as ‘performing surgery on a dead body’.

“If the government wants to conduct the examination, then it should come up with a notice as soon as possible,” said Vidisha.

It is pertinent to mention here that the UGC had issued directions on the conduct of Final semester examinations to all the states. As per the UGC statement, out of the 945 Universities across India, 755 have put forth their views on the examination. While 194 Universities have already conducted the final semester examination either through online or offline format, 366 Universities have plans afoot to do so. However, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab are few states which had written to reconsider the decision to conduct examinations during the pandemic.

In a letter to the Union HRD Ministry, Odisha Higher Education Secretary, Amit Khare had requested to not make the final semester examination mandatory.

As far as the University authorities are concerned, they are awaiting directions from the state government. Madhumita Das, the Vice-Chancellor of Fakir Mohan University in Balasore said, “We will take steps as per the government guidelines. If the government gives us a go ahead, we will conduct the examinations.”

“But carrying out exams now after cancelling it once before will put adverse effects on the students. They will have to mentally prepare for it,” said Das.

However, educationist Pritish Acharya said, “The examinations should be conducted. It will create a bad precedence if students are promoted without appearing for the examinations.”

No comments could be obtained from the Higher Education Department in this connection.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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