Students demand online exams as 21 inmates of girls’ hostel in Baripada varsity test Covid-19 positive

Baripada: At least 21 girl inmates of Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University hostel in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district tested positive for Covid-19. Following which, hundreds of students today staged sit-in in front of the varsity main gate demanding that online semester exams be conducted online.

“Higher Education department had previously issued letter stipulating all Degree Colleges, Autonomous Colleges and Universities in Odisha to finish the semester examinations by July 31 and publish results thereof latest by August 15,” some student agitators expressed.

Due to negligence of the University authorities, the exams were not finished on time, they alleged.

“Now that, a large number of students were detected positive for Covid-19, there is a high probability that the viral infection would spread in the days ahead. Hence, we demand that all semester exams and classes to be conducted in online mode,” the students namely Abhishek Panda, Subhajit Pani, Pallishree Ghosh, Ashish Jena, Bishnupada Nayak, Manisha Behera and Ankita Panda stated.

The university authorities should immediately declare closure ‘sine die’, several others added.

Meanwhile, the university Vice-Chancellor Kishore Kumar Basa tried to convince the students.

“Semester exams will be held in offline mode as per the standing instructions of state Higher Education department. If any student is not interested to appear the exams now will be given chance to do so later, after the Covid situation becomes normal. Accordingly, the results will also be declared,” Basa clarified.

“The 21 infected girl students have been kept in quarantine and they are presently being administered proper medicines as per advice of doctors and there is nothing to panicky,” the varsity Registrar Sahadev Samadhia said to the agitating students.

However, the sit-in and agitation was still underway till this report was filed.

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