In a peal before Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court seeking to hold Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) decision to conduct ‘Winter 2020’ offline examination amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country from June 10.
The petitioners, NGO HERD Foundation and student Nitesh Tantarpale seek that the online examinations or directions for the exams to be held offline must be done only after the students, support staff and teachers, are vaccinated.
In a PIL they also challenged the State’s decision of asking the examinees to sign an undertaking with the condition that they shall not be liable if any of the student’s contract covid-19 pursuant to the physical examination.
The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) said that cancellation of offline exams is not an option despite ongoing protests from students citing fear for their safety in Covid times.
The university authorities said that these students are future doctors and they are expected to step up in emergency situations. Exams for second-year medical students are set to begin on June 10.
“The first priority must be to vaccinate the students. The petitioners submit that vaccination comes first and examination comes second. This sequence would be in conformity with Article 21 of the constitution of India as it would ensure that the students would be protected by the vaccine against the virus.”
The plea says that several students and their family members tested positive after the NEET examinations undertaken last September.
It was also pointed out that physical examinations across boards have been cancelled owing to the imminent danger from the Covid-19 disease.
According to the examination schedule, students are likely to be exposed to the virus for nearly 20 days, the petition asserts. The petitioners add that the University didn’t address their grievance, despite representations. Students are asked to sign an undertaking.