Published: 23rd July 2021
Maha government says CET likely on August 21: HC asks if ICSE and CBSE can have separate syllabus
A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and RI Chaglawas was hearing the plea of an ICSE Board student who sought to quash the May 28 state government notification on the CET
The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government if there is a way to have separate syllabus for CBSE and ICSE students appearing in the Common Entrance Test (CET) for Class 11 or junior college. This would mean separate question papers for these students. The court also has an alternative. The bench asked if it was possible to not give any priority for the students who appear for the CET over the board marks of the other boards. This would essentially make the CET redundant as the state board students have to sit for the board exams anyway and might as well be judged on that. The CET might be held on August 21.
A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and RI Chaglawas was hearing the plea of an ICSE Board student who sought to quash the May 28 state government notification on the CET. The notification has an alternate evaluation criteria owing to the cancellation of the Class X board exams amid pandemic. Appearing from the government's side, Purnima Kantharia said that registration for students for CET has already started from July 21, and they propose accepting registration applications only until July 26. She further told the court that the CET is likely to be held on August 21.
The notification says that admissions to Class XI for 2020-21 – known as junior college across Maharashtra – will be based on internal evaluation and an optional CET. The CET was said set to be based entirely on the SSC board syllabus. Those who do not want to appear for the CET would be graded on their Class X marks.
The petitioner's father, who is a lawyer himself, argued that the CET syllabus was notified on June 24 and the exam was set to be held the next month. Almost 16 lakh SSC students and 4 lakh ICSE or CBSE students were set to write the test offline. Advocate Yogesh Patki had said to the court that his daughter had not taken science in the past two years and can't sit for the CET. But giving preference to CET marks would prejucide his daughter's chances.
"In view of the statement made by the Government Pleader and in view of the fact that the matter is proposed to be heard on the suggestion given by this Court on 28th July, 2021, no interim reliefs are warranted at this stage," the bench noted in its order. It directed Katharia to seek instructions if there could be a separate syllabus for the respondent CBSE and ICSE boards so that it is easier for the children to prepare. The bench allowed petitioner Patki to implead CBSE and ICSE to file an affidavit in reply within one week and stated that the petition would be taken up next on July 28.