As a result, students have taken to social media saying they are not mentally in the right space for exams. However, the institutions have cited a delay in the academic schedule from last year and explain that final-year students need to pass out to apply for higher studies or get a job.
Ayush Mondal, a second-year political science student at Delhi University whose exams are slated from June 7, said, “Many students are suffering from mental health issues after losing their relatives to Covid-19. In our college, Ram Lal Anand, two faculty members lost their lives. I come from West Bengal where cases are still high. There are a lot of network issues, especially after the cyclone Yaas. The last time, I had to travel from Bankura to Durgapur to give the online Open Book Examination.”
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Rajyalakshmi, assistant professor of sociology at Janki Devi Memorial College, said, “The last few weeks have been tough on students and their family and friends. Many are scared and tense. The university should reconsider its decision by postponing exams or assessing students on their past performance.”
Associate professor Pankaj Garg said, “The situation is not yet normal, and conducting exams will not be ideal. IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Goa are conducting an internal assessment to avoid pressuring students to prepare for the exams.”
A survey conducted by Lady Shri Ram college students, which was endorsed by the students’ unions of St Stephens, Hindu, Hansraj, and other colleges, revealed that over 66% of students were unhappy with the exams starting on June 7.
However, DS Rawat, DU’s exam department head, said, “The survey had very few final-year students. We conducted practical exams in May, which witnessed over 98% attendance. This proves that many students, especially those in the terminal years, are ready for exams. Many have jobs lined up and others are planning to study abroad and need their results soon. We cannot have students at a disadvantage. Also, UGC doesn’t allow passing students without an exam.”
SPK Jena, professor of applied psychology, said, “Most students want to give the exams to finish their academic life in bachelors and move ahead. Over the past couple of weeks, the number of students undergoing mental health counselling has also reduced.”
Arbab Ali, a master’s student at Jamia Millia Islamia, said, “Many students who have lost family members are being forced to suppress their grief and focus on cramming for exams. The announcement of exams is not right as Covid-19 cases are still high in states like Bihar and UP from where many Jamia students come from. Ignoring these afflictions, announcing the exam shows the apathetic and insensitive attitude of the administration.”
However, Jamia controller of exams Nazim Jafri said, “Exams are necessary for the academic year and for students to apply for higher studies or employment opportunities.”