Even as the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences has announced timetable for undergraduate and post-graduate medical students as per Medical Council of India guidelines, medical colleges have started collecting undertakings from students that the colleges will not be liable if students get infected by Covid-19 while giving the exams.
Amravati-based VYWS (Vidarbha Youth Welfare Society) Dental College and Hospital was recently found to have demanded a similar undertaking from students that the college will not be held responsible in case a student gets affected with Covid-19 during the time of exams. Exams for dental students (BDS) are scheduled from August 4 to August 18. College dean stated that several colleges have resorted to this measure ahead of exams.
The undertaking states, “I agree that the institution is taking all precautions for preventing Covid-19 in the campus. But, if at all in any unfortunate situation, I get affected with Covid-19 infection, institution or management will not be responsible for it.” The college has nearly 50 students.
When contacted, dean Dr Rajesh Gondhalekar said, “During the time of exams we will strictly be following the protocol including social distancing and sanitization measures. However, all our students live outside the campus. We cannot take responsibility for what happens to them after leaving and before entering
our campus.” Gondhale said that several other colleges have also asked students to sign a similar undertaking and the format is the same that has been used by others.
Last month, Nair Hospital and Dental College asked parents of students to sign a consent letter taking responsibility of their child’s health conditions when they arrive in Mumbai to appear for their final year exams.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences recently announced a “Covid suraksha kavach” for all its students who will appear for exams. In case a student contracts Covid-19, Rs 1 lakh will be given for treatment and Rs 3 lakh in case a student succumbs to the virus. Students have condemned the move. Medical Student Welfare Association president Dr Nilesh Jadhav said, “We have been asking for cancellation of exams since May. In case exams are held, how will students travel? Even if they are allowed to appear from a nearby centre, the centres are in districts, far from villages and talukas.” Maharashtra Students Union President Siddharth Ingle said, “Who will take responsibility if any student succumbs to Covid-19? We cannot compare anyone’s lives with money.”
The issue of exams for medical students is sub-judice in Bombay High Court. MUHS, MCI and other respondents have been asked to file an affidavit by July 31 and clarify whether quarantine will be necessary for students coming from other areas.
Even as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced that it will not be possible for Maharashtra to conduct exams, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences on July 10 announced timetable for undergraduate and post-graduate medical students as per Medical Council of India guidelines.
While the exams for post-graduate students will begin from August 25, the exams for undergraduate students will begin from August 4. In June, over 900 post-graduate final year medical students from at least 15 medical colleges in Maharashtra had written to the Medical Council of India demanding cancellation of the pending summer exams.
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