Hyderabad’s Osmania University on Wednesday announced that the scheduled undergraduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG) examinations conducted by the university, which were to be held this week, will be postponed. This comes in the wake of the Telangana government’s direction to shut down educational institutions temporarily due to rising COVID-19 cases. The university’s Controller of Examination (COE) has issued a statement which said that the revised examination schedule will be announced later. It read, "As per the government’s direction, all the ongoing and scheduled examinations are postponed. The revised schedule will be announced later." Speaking to the media, State Higher Education Council Chairman Papi Reddy announced that all examinations across colleges and universities in Telangana that were supposed to happen in the coming weeks, have been postponed.
Earlier on Tuesday, the state government decided to temporarily close all educational institutions except medical colleges across the state from Wednesday, March 24. With the exception, this includes all hostels, gurukul schools, government and private educational institutions in the state. Soon after the government’s announcement, Osmania University and other public institutions said that they would go through with the decided-upon examination schedule to finish the academic year on time. However, a day later, OU announced the postponement of the same.
The state Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy told the Assembly on Tuesday that the decision to shut the educational institutions temporarily was taken as precautionary measure keeping in view of the health of students and teachers.
She said, "A few cases have been registered here and there in educational institutions in our state. Since teaching and non-teaching activities happen in groups in educational institutions, the government believes that the coronavirus can spread rapidly. States like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and others have already shut their educational institutions. Even in our state, parents have expressed concerns, and have requested the government to temporarily shut schools.” The State Higher Education Council (SHEC) has also decided to reschedule the entrance examinations for the higher education institutions.
Meanwhile, the University of Hyderabad (UoH) or Hyderabad Central University decided to pause the return of students to campus. UoH said that the decision was taken in view of the upsurge in COVID-19 cases in different parts of the country, and is in line with the latest decision of the government of Telangana. With this, the return of terminal semester post-graduate students and all research scholars (except the 2020 batch) to the campus is paused.
The university also announced that it has put physical classes on hold until further notice. According to the university, there are about 1200 students, including research scholars, currently on campus to complete their practical/laboratory/project/
While the students who wish to return to their hometowns can do so, the university said it will continue the academic activities online. UoH Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao appealed to all the students staying in hostels on campus to maintain vigilance against the coronavirus. He said, "If students don’t exercise self-regulation in their own behaviour, and if the situation worsens, the university may be compelled to impose a stricter regulatory environment."