COVID-19 impact: Indira Gandhi National Tribal University drops lone exam centre in Kerala
The students have been asked to appear for the entrance test in Chennai. A K Shukla, professor and coordinator, IGNTU, said, "The university was forced to cancel the test centre due to the pandemic."
KOCHI: COVID-19 has affected every facet of life. Among the victims are a group of more than 400 students who had applied for various courses at Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU). Dealing them a severe blow, the university has cancelled the lone examination centre in Kerala. They have been asked to appear for the entrance test in Chennai. The students are worried and unhappy.
"Even though we approached the university, they were not ready to give a straight answer," said a student who didn't want to be named fearing repercussions from the university. According to them, some of the students are already under the scanner for taking up the issue and sending mails to top political leaders.
"We are fighting for the rights of our brethren who aspire to study at the university. You should understand that there was no test centre in Kerala till 2017. It was after a lot of fight that the university decided to have a centre in Kerala too," said another student studying at the university. According to the students, another fact that needs to be taken into consideration is that the number of students appearing for the entrance examination is the highest from Kerala.
"But some petty regionalism is in play here," alleged a student. "They can keep a centre in Chennai, but not in Wayanad. Just the other day, when a candidate called the university authorities seeking clarification regarding the centre, they refused to comment," he said.
Meanwhile, A K Shukla, professor and coordinator, IGNTU, said, "The university was forced to cancel the test centre due to the pandemic."
"We can't risk the lives of staff who have to be deputed to conduct the tests. Around 60 people are needed for the smooth conduct of the examination all over the country and there is also the need to be concerned for the health of the candidates who will be writing the test," said Shukla. Also, it was not as if the Wayanad centre had been there for long, he added.
He said if the candidates find it hard to travel and write the entrance tests in Chennai, how can you expect them to travel to Madhya Pradesh's Amarkantak and complete the course while staying in the local accommodations. "Kerala has some of the best educational institutions in the country, so why not try in these universities instead of coming all the way over to MP. Also, the number of tribal students from Kerala who got in can be counted on the fingers of one's hand," he said.
According to him, a corrigendum has been published on the university website, which states that the university can increase or decrease the number of exam centres as per the prevailing circumstances. "If students in Kerala want to study at the university, we can arrange a facility in the state if the government provides us 300 acres of land," he said. However, the students are not satisfied and have decided to take the legal route.