Among all the things that have come to a standstill in Chennai due to the heavy rains, are semester exams in engineering colleges. Exams have been postponed, a result of which non-Chennai students have run back to their respective hometowns.
Univrsities have been forced to reschedule their exams overnight. Madras University (MU) and Anna University (AU) have postponed exams to November 25 and December 2 respectively. IIT Madras, however, is continuing with exams as the situation within the campus is manageable.
“There were flooding issues inside IIT Madras earlier in the week but the roads are clear now. Though, we are not out of the woods totally. In fact, local schools and colleges are still closed,” informed Prof. Krishnan Balasubramanian of IIT Madras.
Anish Rathi, a final year, civil engineering student at IIT Madras, was more vivid in his explanation. “One of the boys’ hostel is in a low lying area and the building was completely surrounded with water. One could not access the building. Students had to be shifted to a different hostel for two days, till the water level subsided,” he said .
The situation is still bad at Anna University though. Nivethitha, a final year student from there, said that she was lucky her exams got postponed. “I stay in a private hostel and the vicinity was under water within no time. I somehow managed to leave and come to my hometown, Coimbatore. Like me, others have also gone home to avoid the floods.”
Some exams at Anna University concluded on November 11 so the untimely rains bought in an extended vacation.
The sights and sounds of the ongoing floods have saddle students with painful memories. “Felt sad to know that a lady living on my street got electrocuted by one of the loose wires. I also saw many families with children and baggage being shifted to government schools and colleges in the heavy downpour,” said Syeed Mooshasha who is a permanent resident of Chennai and currently in his final year of MCA at Anna University.
Syeed laments the fact that his college had campus interviews scheduled all of November. “Four companies were coming. But now, even those are postponed to December.”
Dr. N Kumaravel, head of the Electronics and Communication engineering department at Anna University, told PaGaLGuY that while classes have been cancelled, faculty members who are able to make it to the campus, do so. I stay a good 7 kms away but my route is clear so I come to college everyday.”
Jai Prakash currently a student at Anna University has not met his suburban friends for some days now. “Chennai’s suburbs have been badly affected and that means that my friends have locked themselves in their houses for the last week. It appears to be worse out there.”