From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Apr 12: After the Covid pandemic took a toll on the lives of people and livelihood besides severely curtailing and affecting the academic year 2020-21, the ensuing academic year for 2021-22 may not be much different.
Deputy chief minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also the state’s higher education minister, has made it clear online classes will be first started from the beginning of the coming academic year. However, it is impossible to conduct online exams, he said.
Speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with officials on the Covid situation, he said the state government has received representations and even demands from students and parents for conducting online examinations, which is impossible to accept. Examinations can only be conducted offline, he said.
Dr Narayan said some of the deemed to be universities have been conducting online examinations. However, this cannot be implemented in other universities, he said.
The higher education minister said the ongoing strike by the employees of the State Road Transport Corporations and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has resulted in disruption of the degree, diploma, engineering and post-graduate examination schedules.
The examination process will commence after the strike by the bus drivers and conductors is ends and normal bus operations resume, he said.
The deputy chief minister said the offline classes will be resumed after the Covid pandemic situation, which is presently seen a surge, is brought under control. The students are free to opt for offline or online classes at their convenience. But attendance will be compulsory in either of the modes, he said.
No Lockdown, strict enforcement of guidelines
Reviewing the Covid situation in Bengaluru’s West Zone, Dr Ashwath Narayan made it clear that the state government has no plans to clamp lockdown restrictions at present as was done last year during the first wave.
Chief minister B S Yediyurappa has already clarified that the state government is not enforcing lockdowns to control the surge in Covid cases, Dr Narayan said pointing out that the night curfew in Bengaluru and other nine cities in the state as well as Covid guidelines like compulsory wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, sanitization and restrictions on big public gatherings or protests etc will be strictly enforced.
"We want to save both lives and livelihood. This is the state government’s policy and there is no deviation. But we will not hesitate to take action against those violating the Covid guidelines,’’ he declared.
Dr Narayan said the KC General Hospital in Malleswaram has 50 ICU beds. The number of beds will be doubled to 100. As many as 350 beds have been reserved for non-Covid patients to ensure that they do not suffer or deprived of medical treatment.
The MS Ramaiah Hospital has offered to reserve 500 beds for Covid patients, he said after a personal visit to the Hospital.
Other hospitals in the city have also come forward to reserve beds for Covid patients, he said.