Srinagar: The government's fresh guidelines in Jammu and Kashmir to contain the spread of COVID19 resurgence has skipped mention of universities while placing the fresh curbs.
According to new government guidelines issued on January 9 this year, all schools, colleges, polytechnics, coaching centres and ITIs etc shall adopt an online mode of offering education till further orders.
The guidelines were issued by the State Executive Committee of the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction after the fresh daily COVID cases breached 600-mark in Jammu and Kashmir.
These guidelines, however, didn't make a mention of universities much to the surprise of university teachers and students, most of whom are presently appearing in various examinations.
While universities in Kashmir are presently going through winter vacations, those in the Jammu division, including Jammu University and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) continue to offer offline classes or hold offline examinations.
In the Valley, students from Kashmir University who were presently sitting in various UG and PG examinations, including different semesters of BA LLB, also demanded deferment of examinations. The University conceded to the demand following discussions at a high-level meeting held on Tuesday.
Students at BGSBU are demanding deferment of all offline examinations till the pandemic wave eases and switching over the classes to online mode with immediate effect.
"COVID is not area-specific or institution-specific. The government guidelines should have brought universities into their fold vis-a-vis education and examinations. Lives of students cannot be put to risk by pushing them into classrooms," said a group of students.
Recently, close to 100 students at SMVD University Katra tested positive for Covid19, forcing the closure of the University by the government.
Many students at Jammu University also tested positive recently for the Coronavirus, prompting imposition of temporary curbs on classes, a source said.
"Universities can take their own decisions in this regard in the interest of the safety of students. But if they are unable to do it, the government should step in and order universities to offer online classes and go for online exams for the time being," the aggrieved students said.
When contacted about Tuesday’s meeting, KU Registrar Dr Nisar A Mir said they have put on hold the ongoing examination of the Law department. "We had also planned to conduct Engineering exams which have been now put on hold," Registrar KU said. "We don't have any other exams scheduled these days," he said.
Controller Examination Cluster University Srinagar (CUS) Prof Khurshid Ahmad Mir on Monday told Greater Kashmir that said there were no fresh guidelines issued regarding exams. "So, we will ensure that only 25 students are accommodated in a room on the day of examination," he said.