Students In Limbo With Cuttack’s SCB Medical College Yet To Decide On Clinical Exam

Cuttack: A week after Utkal University released a notification on conducting clinical examination for Opthalmology and ENT papers, students of SCB Medical College here are still unsure about the status of these exams with the authorities yet to issue fresh directives in this regard.

The varsity in its notice dated August 19, 2020, has directed the authorities concerned to conduct the pending ophthalmology and ENT exams of third professional part-I from September 15.

Talking to Odisha Bytes, students of SCB, on the condition of anonymity, denied receiving any notice from the college authorities regarding these exams.

Students’ Concern

“Recently, faculty members and the students had unanimously told the authorities concerned that it was not feasible to conduct any exam, be it any semester, given the current situation,” said a seventh-semester student.

The students also mentioned about the paucity of time. Factors like travel during the pandemic and quarantine days will make it more difficult for the students.

Talking about the same, another student said, “We have many outstation students in our batch. Not appearing for the exam is not a choice. But think about those coming from Bokaro and Chennai. Where will they stay? Many of our hostel rooms are being used for quarantine purpose. Interns are deputed to the COVID wards and are staying in isolation, those not infected are staying in hostels. It can be risky.”

More so, these practical exams cannot be conducted online.

Elaborating on the seventh-semester exams, another student said, “There are three theory papers – Community Medicine, Opthalmology and ENT. These have their corresponding practical papers too. In March, we appeared for the theory paper of Community Medicine only. On March 23, we were asked to evacuate the hostels as exams were deferred. Marks are important for us to be officially promoted to the eighth semester.”

Official Notification?

SCB Students’ Union President Biswajeet Sahoo said that the authorities were keen on conducting the exams by mid-September and accordingly arrangements were made to accommodate students in the BSC nursing hostel. The students were also allowed to return to Cuttack between August 15 and August 24 and asked to follow the quarantine protocol for their own safety and that of their batchmates. “An official notification with regards to the exams was issued on Friday (August 21). However, it was stayed by the dean as students were in quarantine,” he said.

Sahoo further said that it be difficult to hold the exams now amid the rising COVID-19 cases. “We have proposed that it be postponed to October first week as there is a risk of mass infection,” he said.

The exams are yet to be conducted in seven government medical colleges across the state and Hi-Tech Medical College in Bhubaneswar, he added.

Authorities Speak

“I am unaware of the matter and the exact date of the exam. I am joining office today. Let me reach the office first as I am busy attending COVID meetings. I cannot comment further on this matter. I can assure you that we are concerned about the future of our students and will ensure that the exams are conducted properly,” said SCB’s officiating principal Prof Bipin Bihari Pradhan.

The notice informing about the schedule of exam reads, “The date for Oral/Practical Clinical programme will be notified by the Centre Superintendent under the intimation to the undersigned and all such examinations should be completed by September 29, 2020.”

Meanwhile, the Hi-Tech Medical College had put up a notice on August 20 informing the students about the exams. Examination in-charge, LN Padhi, confirmed about the same.

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