Exams for students from first, second and third year of health science courses, including MBBS, have been postponed for the second time. While most students and parents are against the conduct of these exams amid the pandemic, some parents are concerned about the impact on the next academic session, which will now be delayed by six months. These exams are usually held in December.
Medical education minister Amit Deshmukh announced the exam postponement decision on Thursday, after consultation with the chief minister. The exams will now commence June 2 as per the new timetable issued by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS). A detailed schedule of the exam will be released soon.
Ajit Pathak, exam controller from MUHS, said the state has taken the decision considering the pandemic situation and appeals from students. The exams were earlier scheduled on March 23, and then on April 19. Final-year exams for MBBS and other health sciences courses have already been conducted by the state.
Brijesh Sutaria, parent of a third-year student, said he is relieved with the postponement as students are facing a lot of difficulties in hostels. Many are sharing accommodation, so it is inconvenient to study in the confined place while following social distancing norms, he said. There are students who are also down with Covid-19 who will be unable to appear for the exam at this point, said a students’ representative.
Initially, the university had indicated that the exams would be conducted in February, but then they were scheduled in March. They were again postponed and scheduled in April.
Sudha Shenoy, a parent representative, pointed out that June will be too late for the exams, as it will have an adverse impact on subsequent academic sessions too.
“The government should have conducted the exam in January or February when Covid cases were less. Students who are in their third year now will go to final year after these exams. Their session will be delayed by a few months, and there will be a shortage of interns next year,” said Shenoy.