With the second COVID-19 wave hitting several parts of India, netizens took to social media on April 6 to demand the cancellation of upcoming board exams.
#Cancelboardexams2021 was trending on Twitter, as students marked their concern over appearing for offline examinations amid the peak of ongoing health crisis.
"When the Corona is at peak, asking millions of children to appear exam is unacceptable. I stand with the students. #CancelBoardExams2021 (sic)," tweeted student-activist Licypriya Kangujam.
The trend gathered momentum after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray demanded the cancellation of Class 10th and 12th offline examinations in Maharashtra - the state worst-affected by the coronavirus crisis.
The students could be undergoing "mental trauma", Thackeray said, adding that similar to other grades, those in Class 10th and 12th should also be promoted without offline exams.
Notably, the Class 10th (SSC) exams in Maharashtra are scheduled between April 29 and May 20, and Class 12th (HSC) exams between April 23 and May 21.
The state government has announced a night curfew stretching from 8 pm to 7 am on weekdays of April, along with a complete lockdown on weekends. Non-essential shops have been asked to remain closed throughout the month.
However, the Maharashtra government has so far refrained from postponing the scheduled board exams.#CancelBoardExams2021 trend gains momentum
The daily count of coronavirus soared above one lakh on April 5 - the highest since the outbreak of pandemic in March last year. The central government has marked concern over the situation in at least 11 states.
Apart from Maharashtra, restrictions have come into effect in other states and union territories as well. The Delhi government, on April 6, announced the imposition of a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am. The restriction will remain throughout the month.
The upcoming board examinations also include the CBSE Class 10th and 12th examinations - scheduled from May 4 to June 7 and May 4 to June 11, respectively. The ICSE Class 10th exams are scheduled between May 4 and June 7 and ISC Class 12th exam between April 8 and June 18.