COVID-19 has disrupted the way all of our lives function. Since the original outbreak of this virus in Wuhan, China, over 20 lakh Indian citizens have tested positive for this virus, and over 40,000 people have unfortunately passed away due to COVID and its symptoms.

In the middle of such confusion, students all over the country are worried. Those looking to begin or resume their higher education need more certainty. Specific marquee exams, such as the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for the b tech course, have been postponed to the first week of September, and others have even been canceled.

Exams that have been Cancelled due to COVID-19:

Due to the coronavirus crisis in India, several schools and colleges have canceled their exams due to fear of the virus spreading rapidly. Several boards have canceled non-essential exams for students studying in lower standard classes, opting to promote students without any condition. All final semester exams scheduled in Delhi State colleges, such as the National Law University offering their prestigious BBA LLB degree, stand canceled.

However, The biggest surprise was when the Central Board of Secondary Education —CBSE— decided to cancel its board exams for classes 10 and 12. Once this announcement was made, other boards, such as the ISC 12th standard board exams conducted by the

Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination — CISCE— was canceled, leading to confusion among students regarding their BBA admissions and similar courses. This is mainly because many colleges only refer to board exam marks for entry.

What can students who are already pursuing a degree expect?

For a large percentage of the student community in India, the only option for education is on online platforms. Several b com Hons students have resumed their curriculum, with students learning from their laptops and phones at home.

Software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become the adopted media through which teachers conduct technical and non-technical classes. Although there is no comparison between the quality of online classrooms and traditional teaching, students have made the most of some features, such as pre-recorded classes and reduced commute time to their classrooms.

This might be a bleak consolation, but online education will be here to stay until a safe and deployable vaccine is available. This is because most parents will be unwilling to send their wards in public transport to go and attend college classes because of the risks involved in contracting the dangerous coronavirus disease.

What do final-year engineering students expect?

Regarding final year students' examinations, the University Grants Commission (UGC) decided that all b tech CSE, as well as other courses, will conduct their final exams by the 30th of September.

This decision by the UGC has been met with much ire from students and teachers, saying that it puts the lives of everyone at unnecessary risk. Thousands of students have taken to social media demanding the scrapping of their final exams.

One of the key reasons it is impractical to hold final exams for professional courses such as engineering is because it is a ‘practical’ discipline. Lab classes, as well as industrial training, are essential for proper learning. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, students cannot attend their labs or do their IT. Apart from this, one of the most significant talking points is the digital divide in the country. Several students come from areas where data connectivity is weak; this results in them not being able to attend online classes properly, further hampering their education.


The picture right now for students looks glum. With India’s COVID curve steepening and there being a new highest case count almost every other day, there is much to worry about. Several students have parents working in the essential services sector, such as doctors and nurses, and this is a period of tremendous stress for their families.

One of the biggest concerns right now is the easing of lockdowns by state governments. If people start getting back to work me, measures such as social distancing will be challenging to implement in a country with over 1.3 billion people. But in case examinations are held in the future, one will have to strictly monitor the measures that boards take to implement for the safe conduction of these papers. All said and done. These are unprecedented times, and cautious optimism is the need of the day.