Various university examinations scheduled to be held in Kerala next week have been postponed in view of the rise in the COVID-19 cases in the state.
Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut, Health Sciences and Malayalam varsities have postponed the examinations scheduled to begin from Monday. The revised schedules will be announced later.
The decision followed a directive by Governor Arif Muhammed Khan to the University vice-chancellors to postpone the exams in view of the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Raj Bhavan sources, Khan suggested university managements to come out with fresh dates based on the virus situation in the state. Reacting to Khan's suggestion, senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Ramesh Chennithala came out against conducting the examinations when the country was witnessing the second COVID-19 wave.
"With Kerala reporting 13,000 + new virus cases, it is irresponsible that the 6th Semester B.A/B.Sc exams of Kerala University are still scheduled from April 19. Could the University & Govt please postpone or cancel these exams?", Tharoor tweeted.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP later said the Governor has assured that the matter would be considered.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala urged the government to reconsider whether to hold the public examinations at a time when the COVID-19 test positivity rate was unprecedentedly high.
Parents and students were anxious as the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic is spreading fast, he said and urged the government to seriously consider the matter.
Under the Universities Act, the Governor is the Chancellor of all the universities in Kerala and in that capacity he has a direct responsibility as regards the proper management and administration of the varsities.
Kerala on Saturday recorded its highest ever single-day tally of Covid-19 cases at 13,835, after 81,211 samples were sent for testing in the past 24 hours.
The state's test positivity rate surged to a high of 17.04 per cent on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja had given enough hints that the numbers will surge as augmented testing is being conducted for the past two days.
The authorities have asked all those who are conducting weddings or other functions to register in the online portal, and maintain the cap of 75 people for indoor events and 150 for outdoor functions.