Bengaluru has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases since March. On April 15, the number of cases touched 10,000 — which was the first highest single-day spike for the city in the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the governance grapples with the exacerbating situation, the student community in Bengaluru has asked that they be vaccinated as the colleges in the city have made it mandatory for them to write their impending examinations offline. The Bangalore Student Community (BSC), a collective of college students from across the city, wrote to the Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar asking for students in the city to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on a priority basis.
“Being aware of the current COVID-19 situation and the impact it has had on people, we humbly request you to reconsider the limit on age groups who are receiving the vaccination. It is important that the student community is vaccinated at the earliest as colleges have made it mandatory for the students to appear for offline examinations,” read the BSC letter.
A student of Mount Carmel College told TNM that the institute has been conducting practical examinations in spite of a section of students and some teachers testing positive for the coronavirus. They claimed that the college staff is not undergoing regular tests either. “Since one student attended a practical on Monday, he has been exhibiting symptoms. Students across various classes have tested positive for the virus and the authorities are still conducting practical examinations where we are grouped and are in close proximity for at least one-two hours,” said the student.
“Government’s statistics collated in a study has shown that younger people are getting infected rapidly and Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan’s statement that conducting the online examination won’t be possible prompted us to write the letter. We are awaiting the minister’s reply and will then decide what to do next,” said Dhruv Jatti, president of BSC.
In another letter addressed to the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the students of different institutions asked for cancellation of their examinations scheduled in May. Reiterating the point, in the letter to Sudhakar, the students asked him to cancel offline examinations in over 20 colleges across the city including Christ [deemed to be] University and Mount Carmel College.
Amid surging COVID-19 cases, examinations are being postponed across India, including the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Bangalore University has also postponed all the under-graduate, post-graduate and engineering exams indefinitely due to the same. However, some private institutions like Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) and Christ [deemed to be] University have informed the students that the examination will be carried out as per schedule.
Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan had also announced that it was not feasible for them to conduct exams online while stating there will be no change in schedule for college examinations. Online exams are not possible in the government set up, he had told the media.