Following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases at Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), the Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (RMLNLU) Lucknow saw 15 students test positive within a day of RT-PCR testing close on the heels of the commencement of end semester examinations at the University.
The exams were to commence at 10 am from April 18. However, at around 8:30 am, when it came to light that 4-5 students tested positive for COVID-19, student representatives wrote emails and tried approaching the administration to stall offline examinations.
However, to the dismay of the students, the response to the mail was that the exams will continue to take place and that the exams will not be postponed.
Incidentally, when a few members from the administration tested positive in January this year, the campus was immediately closed.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, a student at RMLNLU shared the concerns of the student community amid the ongoing crisis.
"There is a bias against students regarding the situation since we have been requesting for online exams since over a month now. This was also keeping in mind that most of the semester was conducted online. But the administration rejected the demand back then. They rejected the COVID-19 positive reports by making sweeping remarks such as - 'Your case is false'; '10 cases don't mean anything to us'; 'We have no directions from the Chief Medical Officer to withhold exams'. They are not able to differentiate the earlier demand for online exams and the new situation that has arisen in light of the positive cases," the student said.
He went on to mention,
"The University did not make testing mandatory, as was done at GNLU and other universities. Out of around 140 students who got tested the day before yesterday, 10 students got positive reports yesterday morning. As of right now, about 350 students out of a total strength of 900 got tested, and most of these results are still awaited.
As for the examinations, around 25 out of a batch of approximately 178 students went for the examination. In the third year, only 1 student attempted the exam and from the first and second year around 9-10 students each must have gone for the offline exams. While the VC and other authorities are quarantining themselves and students tested positive at the guest house, all others remain huddled in the hostels."
The students resorted to protests on Tuesday, April 19, from 5 pm, asking the administration to stall the ongoing exams in light of the spike in cases. Following this, a revised notice was released by the administration on Wednesday, April 20, which mentioned that a second edition of the ongoing examinations will be held in July, in offline mode.
The notice further urged students not sitting for the current exams to leave the hostel.
"The July 2022 edition will also be treated as the main examination and would not be considered as 'Repeat'," the notice stated.
It also gave the option to students to re-appear in the second edition with the assurance that the best of the scores obtained in the two editions would be considered as the final marks.