Supreme Court allows Kerala to hold offline Class 11 exams, government hails move
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging Kerala government's decision to hold physical exam for Class 11.
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.
Reacting to the verdict, state General Education Minister V Sivankutty said a majority of students wanted to write the examination offline and it will be held without creating any difficulties for them.
He said once the details of the apex court verdict are available, the examination date will be fixed in consultation with the Chief Minister and other departments.
He said a new timetable will be prepared for conducting the examination.
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".