Published: 22nd March 2019
Can diabetic students carry snacks, insulin pumps to exam halls: High Court
Besides, the petition also wanted the diabetic students to be permitted to attend natural calls as and when required while writing examinations
The Madras High Court Thursday asked the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government whether diabetic students can be allowed to carry required medicines like insulin while appearing for public exams. But the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had announced, prior to the board exam, that diabetic students can be allowed to carry food into the exam hall. There is no directive though about other public exams that the Centre conducts.
Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar of the Madurai Bench also asked if the governments had a proposal to include Type I Diabetes as a disability under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.
The bench was hearing a PIL seeking to direct the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the state education department officials to issue a circular enabling the Type I diabetic students to take tablets, chocolates, candy, fruits and insulin pump.
Besides, the petition also wanted the diabetic students to be permitted to attend natural calls as and when required while writing examinations.
Dr E Subbiah, the head of the Department of Diabetology, and Dr S Rajakumar, Chief Civil Surgeon in ESI hospital, who appeared in the court on the direction of the judges, agreed that the PIL prayer was important. They said it was most important for the Type I diabetes students to carry insulin and also snacks in the examination hall. The doctors said a sizeable population in the country was affected with Type I diabetes.
The judges posted the case for hearing on April 4 after asking the government to reply to a series of questions, including why it doesn't come with a draft regulation to permit such students to carry tablets, sandwich, among others.
They also asked whether the required number of diabetologists were available if they were appointed in taluk-level hospitals, or any camp had been conducted to identify Type I diabetes.
The CBSE had already allowed students suffering from Type 1 diabetes to carry eatables during exam before last year's exams. It stated that among all the diabetic population of India, there is a sizeable number of children suffering from Type 1 diabetes and need insulin injections at regular intervals to manage their blood glucose level. So, such students are permitted to carry eatables like sugar tablets, chocolate, and candy, fruits like banana, apple and orange, snack items like sandwich and 500 ml bottle of water with them to the examination centre.
However, certain modalities had been prescribed by the Board and the diabetic students will have to submit a certificate from a specialist along with full diabetic history, nature of their diabetes and the need for snacks during the examination which shall be forwarded by the principal of the school.