Congress MP Shashi Tharoor wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urging him to postpone the state university examinations amid the COVID-19 crisis. Taking to Twitter, Tharoor wrote, “My last-ditch appeal to Kerala CM to postpone state university exams as CBSE and UGC India are doing. My email inbox has 3800 emails from univ students in Kerala begging me to speak up for them. The Govt must listen to sense!” In a letter written on June 23, to Kerala Chief Minister, Tharoor stated, students in the State have been facing considerable difficulties on account of these decisions.

For one, with the number of cases in the state rising again, there is a strong health hazard that these students will have to contend with while leaving their homes for examination centres and appearing for their exams. “Many of these centres are located in regions that have been classified as hotspots, due to the concentration of COVID-19 cases, and the risk of exposure is immense,” wrote Tharoor.

“Similarly due to the rising number of cases, a number of steps have been taken by the state government and various district administrations in a bid to curtail the transmission of the virus, including reduced frequency of public transport, closure of internet cafes mandatory social distancing protocols and so on, which have also posed a strong obstacle for our students,” he added.

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With the majority of these students living with their parents and other elderly family members, there is naturally the worry of spreading the virus among high-risk groups.
These challenges have cumulatively posed a strong impediment for our students to perform to their true potential, read the letter.

“While I recognise that it is important for us as a society to learn to live with the virus, we must also recognise that it is imperative that we continue to do our best to limit and reduce avoidable risks to the extent possible,” wrote Tharoor.”These exams should be postponed till such time as the current situation subsides or, alternatively, a substitute model for grading and evaluations must be considered and adopted keeping in mind these extraordinary conditions,” he added.

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