Supreme Court allows Kerala government to conduct Plus One exam
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the state government to conduct Plus One examinations offline. The state has been directed to strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols while conducting the offline exams. The court dismissed a plea challenging the government's decision to hold physical exam for Class 11.
Offline exam helps to avoid question paper leak. Marks cannot be given based on model exam. Students attended the exam at their houses. The process can be completed before the third wave of Covid-19. The exam is crucial for those who failed Plus One exams but cleared the Plus Two. The marks are the major criteria for admission to higher education courses, Kerala informed the Supreme Court.
“We conducted SSLC exams without any issues when Covid-19 was a bigger threat in the state. Students in the states which did not conduct board exams are struggling as they did not get proper grades,” the education minister had earlier said. The state is prepared to conduct the exam, he added.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said a detailed affidavit has been filed and they are taking all measures related to the coronavirus protocol.
The top court said holistic approach has to be taken in the matter and the authorities are conscious of their duties.
"We are convinced by the explanation offered by the state and trust authorities will take all precautions and necessary steps so that no untoward situation is faced by students who are of tender age and appearing for the proposed examination. Dismissed," the bench said.
The apex court said it had intervened on the earlier occasion as there was a possibility of third wave of corona by September.
"Third wave is not in offing immediately," the bench said.
The Kerala government in an affidavit had told the top court that online examinations will be a disadvantage for students with no access to laptops and mobile phones.
“The conduct of examination through online mode will prejudice a large number of students who have no access to laptops, desktops or even mobile phones. The students belonging to the lower strata of society are depending on mobile phones or tablets for attending online classes.
"In many areas, internet connection or mobile data are not available. These students will never be able to write online examinations," the state government had told the court.
The apex court had on September 3 stayed for a week Kerala government's decision to conduct offline exams for Class XI commencing from September 6 amid the rising cases of COVID saying "there is an alarming situation in the state".
The top court had observed that "cases in Kerala are about 70 per cent cases of the country and children of this age cannot be exposed to this risk".
(With inputs frpm PTI)