Early in April, students from various colleges affiliated to the Assam University took to the streets of Silchar. The students claimed they were concerned about the Coronavirus and demanded the offline TDC examinations to be conducted online instead. The demands of the students were however not met and the colleges went ahead with offline examinations. Ever since, Barak Valley and the whole country has witnessed an alarming rise in Covid cases.
On April 26, students of colleges affiliated to the Assam University submitted an ultimatum to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Keerti Jalli to cancel the ongoing TDC (CBCS) exams being conducted offline and to find an alternative mode of examination instead. They also do not want the upcoming TDC (non-CBCS) exams to be held offline.
In the letter, they shed light on the recent surge of Covid cases in the valley amid which a number of students and teachers also have tested positive. The students drew reference to the fact that the AOC of Cachar College had recently tested positive. At the time, the AOC was on examination duty and could have come in contact with some students while distributing answer scripts. They further added that students from various colleges like Gurucharan College, Karimganj College, NC Paul Memorial College, Lalit Jain College, SS College and the AK Chanda Law College were testing positive for the virus. People in the students’ families were also contracting the virus, so such students sitting for exams could put at risk the lives of other students, the petitioners argued.
They added that Guwahati University was also looking for an alternative mode of examination. The Assam College Teachers’ Association too submitted a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor of Assam University asking for a review of the current mode of the examination.The ADC of Cachar had also sent a letter to the Principals of all Colleges and the Assam University, expressing concerns that offline exams could risk the safety of students.
The students pointed out that even the National Institute of Technology, Silchar was conducting online exams. Their question is if exams could be conducted in blended mode last year when the pandemic was still under check, why not this time around especially when the risk of contraction is much higher. Signatories to the petition include Rohan Roy, Rajveer Das, Sahil Chanda, Arunav Das and Bikram Paul, all of whom are students of Cachar College. The letter was received by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner with the assurance that the matter would be looked into.