Published: 15th November 2021
SC to hear plea to conduct CBSE, ICSE Term I exam in hybrid mode on November 18
The plea, filed by six students who would be appearing in the ensuing Board examinations, came up for hearing before Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar
The Supreme Court on November 15 said it would hear a plea seeking directions to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) to issue a revised circular for conducting the ensuing Class X and XII Board examinations in hybrid mode instead of just the offline mode. The plea, filed by six students who would be appearing in the ensuing Board examinations, came up for hearing before a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar.
The plea, seeking a hybrid option in the ensuing Board examination, has claimed that the entire exercise of the Boards in conducting the Term 1 examinations in just the offline mode is "patently unreasonable". As per the date sheet announced by the CBSE, the Term 1 Board exams will commence from November 16. Semester 1 of the Board examination of the CISCE will commence from November 22.
The plea, filed through advocate Sumanth Nookala, requested that the ensuing exams be conducted in hybrid mode with an option to choose between offline and online examinations. "Consent assumes significance as exams directly relate to the mental health of the petitioners requiring a conducive and voluntary atmosphere to ensure a fair assessment. It is common knowledge that the third wave of COVID pandemic is predicted," the plea stated.
The petition claimed that the proposed current system of offline examination is "fraught with bad planning and lack of application of mind" which will further adversely prejudice the students. "Even if the respondents (Boards and others) wanted to conduct the examinations on the said dates, it had sufficient time and resources to plan it carefully and consider the concerns raised in the present petition," it added.
The Bench said the plea would be heard along with another pending petition on November 18. The Bench, which observed that the pending petition was listed for hearing in January next year, took note of the submissions and said it would reschedule the hearing on that plea and both the matters would be taken up this week. When the counsel appearing for the petitioners said the plea pending in the apex court has raised some different issues, the Bench said, "We will see that on Thursday (November 18). If the issue is the same, it will be heard together." The SC granted liberty to the petitioners to serve an advance copy of the plea to the respondents, including the standing counsel for the CBSE.