Postpone all academic activities, start new academic year from Jan: Aaditya Thackeray to PM

Shiv Sena leader and Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to postpone all academic activities and requesting him to consider starting the new academic year from January 2021 instead of June-July 2021 so that students do not lose their academic year.

The Maharashtra minister said that various institutions and universities are scheduling examinations, which isn’t a “practical” and “feasible” idea considering the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Thackeray, in his letter, said that he wished to draw the PM’s attention to the plight of the students. “While most of our country is still working from home due to increasing Covid numbers, various institutions and universities for professional and non-professional courses have been trying to schedule examinations. This isn’t a practical and feasible option sir, as most states are facing increasing numbers of Covid, along with red zones still in place and transport yet to resume,” the chief of Shiv Sena’s youth wing said.

Last week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the state education department to tap the idea of changing the academic year to January from June in the light of the delay in kicking off the academic year. In his letter, he said, “We may also think of starting our academic year from January 2021 instead of June/July 2020 so that no student loses the academic year. Sir I’m sure that with this intervention, we would be able to prevent a larger spike in infection and contribute to our fight in keeping our citizens safe.”

The Shiv Sena and the Sena-led Maharashtra government have opposed the Centre’s decision to hold final-year examination citing risk to students, teaching and non-teaching staff during the pandemic. He added that wherever schools and colleges were reopened, a large number of people were infected with Covid. “In our country, most students live with their parents and grandparents and the Infection, if at all, can be fatal. The system for even a single paper would include not just students, but teachers, non-teaching staff and much more of the state apparatus, most of whom are in the high-risk groups. Sir, I humbly request you to intervene and postpone all academic activity to do with physical or online examinations across the country, for all professional courses, including entrance exams.”

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