SC allows Kerala to conduct offline exams for Class XI

The top court said that holistic approach has to be taken in the matter and the authorities are conscious of their duties

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 Supreme Court dismissed a plea challenging Kerala government’s decision to conduct physical examination for Class XI on Friday.

A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar said that a detailed affidavit has been filed and they are taking all measures related to the COVID-19 protocol. The top court said that 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,” the bench said, dismissing the petition.

Also read: SC pauses Class 11 exams in Kerala to protect ‘tender age’ teens from COVID

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The apex court said it had intervened on the earlier occasion as there was a possibility of third wave of COVID-19 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 online examinations 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-19, saying that there is ‘an alarming situation in the state’. The top court had observed that “cases in Kerala are about 70 percent cases of the country and children of this age cannot be exposed to this risk”.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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