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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Sunday requested Vice-Chancellors of various universities to postpone all offline examinations due to the soaring COVID-19 cases amid call by the Opposition Congress to cancel all the examinations.

According to Raj Bhavan sources, Khan suggested university managements to come out with fresh dates based on the virus situation in the State. Reacting to Khan's suggestion, senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Ramesh Chennithala came out against conducting the examinations when the country was witnessing the second COVID-19 wave. "With Kerala reporting 13,000 new virus cases, it is irresponsible that the 6th Semester B.A/B.Sc exams of Kerala University are still scheduled from April 19. Could the University & Govt please postpone or cancel these exams? ", Tharoor tweeted.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP later said the Governor has assured that the matter would be considered. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala urged the government to reconsider whether to hold the public examinations at a time when the COVID-19 test positivity rate was unprecedentedly high.

He said all examinations, including the CBSE and ICSE board exams, have been postponed at the national-level. "However, in the state, SSLC and Plus-two examinations are being conducted. Various universities are going ahead with their exam schedule," he said. Parents and students were anxious as the second wave of COVID-19 pandemicis spreading fast, he said and urged the government toseriously consider the matter.

Meanwhile,the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University here informed students that all its scheduled exams have been postponed. "In view of the directions from the Chancellor and considering the representations from student organisations, the Vice-Chancellor has directed to postpone all scheduled examinations of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University," a statement said.

Under the Universities Act, the Governor is the Chancellor of all the universities in Kerala and in that capacity he has a direct responsibility as regards the proper management and administration of the varsities. The State recorded 13,835 cases on Saturday, the highest single day surge in the past few months.

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