Lockdown Extended For Education Sector, Pending Exams May Be Postponed Further

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    After a detailed analysis of the prevalent situation and from the confidence gained from lockdown measures imposed on the country, MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs), GoI (Government of India) issued an order under the disaster management Act, 2005, to extend the lockdown to a further period of two weeks beyond May 4, 2020. MHA has also formulated guidelines to allow different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts into red (hotspot), orange and green zones.

    Criteria for classification of different zones

    Red Total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, surveillance feedback
    Green zero confirmed cases till date or no confirmed cases in the last 21 days
    Orange Zones which are neither red nor green

    The above mentioned classification will be shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) with the States and Union territories on a weekly basis. While the states are authorised to include more districts in red, there is no permission to reduce the classification of zones identified as red by the MHRD. The guidelines have permitted considerable activity in areas under green and orange zones.

    But there is no relaxation for the education sector. According to guidelines issued by MHA, all schools, colleges, universities, training centres, coaching centres and other such establishments will remain closed until May 17, 2020. This is the third time the government has imposed lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus infection. With respect to the education sector, there is no exemption even for zones identified as green. Educational institutions across India have been ordered to remain closed during the entire lockdown period. Schools and colleges have been closed since March 25, 2020, from the time lockdown was first announced.

    The impact of lockdown will be felt mostly by students who are to appear for board exams and for those awaiting admissions to colleges and universities. From when the lockdown was first announced in March, Board Exams, College and University Exams as well as several National-level Entrance Exams such as JEE Main 2020 and NEET UG 2020 were postponed. The dates were revised, in line with the lockdown status in the country. Students were hoping that exams would be conducted around mid-May, post lifting of lockdown after May 3, 2020. But, with the extension of lockdown, the student community will have to wait for the official announcement from MHRD and NTA about pending board exams and entrance exams.

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