The Bombay High Court has raised concerns over the increasing number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Maharashtra, and asked the state government to clear its stand on conducting the pending ICSE board examinations.
“We have also explained to the learned advocate general our concern for the examinees in view of the prevailing situation, where the number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 in the state is on the rise together with the toll. He has assured us to return by the next date with the stand of the state government in respect of the ensuing examinations,” observed the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde.
The court also observed that the state government cannot maintain an ambiguous stand that if the number of students who opt to appear for exams is low, then permission would be given for it. The bench, citing an order from the Allahabad High Court, has asked the Central government, too, to clear its stand. The Allahabad HC has asked the Union Home Ministry to decide on a representation seeking cancellation of rescheduled board exams in view of the pandemic.
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Arvind Tiwari, also a parent of a class 10 student, against the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) seeking cancellation of examinations. The CISCE has given the students an option to appear for exams to be conducted next month, or opt out. The council said students who opted out of exams would be marked on the basis of past performance in the papers for which exams have notbeen held yet.
Last week, however, on the basis of issues raised by parents, the HC asked the council to spell out the exact methodology for grading students who chose to not appear. On Monday, however, the council sought more time to do so.
The petitioner told the court that the board had conducted exams in Karnataka, and 24 students from a school had to be quarantined after the father of one of the students tested positive for coronavirus. As per data submitted by the ICSE board, there are 226 schools in Maharashtra affiliated with it and 23,347 students are scheduled to appear for the Class 10 examinations. The court is likely to hear the case again on June 24.
CBSE to update SC on pending exams today
The Central Board of Secondary Education will inform the Supreme Court on Tuesday about its decision on conducting the pending class 10 and 12 board exams, which were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.
“The decision will be informed to the court on Tuesday and an official notification will accordingly be issued as per directions of the top court,” a senior CBSE official said.
Agroup of parents had last week sought quashing of the notification for conducting the remaining class 10 and 12 exams from July 1to 15. AGENCIES