HYDERABAD: Tension prevailed at the residence of Telangana education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy here on Monday as the students staged a protest demanding postponement of engineering and degree exams.
Demanding that the exams be conducted online, large number of students took out a rally and gathered outside the minister’s residence in Srinagar colony.
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The students from Osmania University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) staged the protest on a call given by National Students Union of India (NSUI). They pointed out that not all of the candidates appearing for exams have taken Covid-19 vaccines and hence the exams should be postponed till all students were vaccinated.
Police allowed NSUI Telangana unit president Venkat Balmoor and Congress leader Aamer Javeed to meet the minister. They demanded that the minister take immediate decision on exams.
Sabitha Indra Reddy, however, told them that no decision will be taken instantaneously. She, however, assured them that the exam centres will be set up wherever they desire. She said the education department is giving priority to students’ well being while making arrangements to conduct the exams.
With no assurance coming from the minister to postpone the exams, the students continued their protest near her residence. They raised slogans in support of their demand. The police then intervened to detain the protesters and shift them to police station.
Banjara Hills police registered a case against Venkat Balmoor and two other NSUI leaders.
Meanwhile, Telangana High Court on Monday refused to intervene in the issue. The court refused to take up a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for hearing. The petitioner’s lawyer sought to move lunch motion but the court declined to take it up. Pointing out that the exams started at 10 a.m. on Monday, the court made it clear that it can’t intervene to stop the exams. It wanted to know what the petitioner was doing till the last minute.
Degree and engineering exams under JNTU began on Monday while the same under Osmania University are scheduled from Tuesday. At some exam centres, leaders of NSUI tried to stop candidates from appearing for exams. However, police intervened to arrest the protesters.
The state government has not conducted annual exams for SSC (10th) class and Intermediate (11th and 12th classes) due to Covid-19 situation. The students were declared pass and awarded grades on the basis of their internal assessment.