Education / SC directs states to declare class 12 board exam results by July 31

Zoom News : Jun 24, 2021, 02:58 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed State Boards to notify their respective schemes for internal assessment of the final marks of Class 12 students within the next 10 days and ordered them to declare the results by July 31.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari refused to entertain a plea for a “uniform scheme” of assessment to be made applicable across Boards in the country.

The court said each Board, whether CBSE, ICSE or State Boards, was “autonomous and independent”. They could formulate their own schemes after consultation with experts.

However, the Bench clarified that allowing Boards to form their own independent schemes did not preclude the court from judicially reviewing their correctness and validity when an occasion arouse.

By directing the State Boards to declare their results before July 31, the court ensured that students across the country get a level playing field in college admissions and other opportunities for higher studies. Earlier, the CBSE and the ICSE had agreed in the Supreme Court to announce the internal assessment results of their Class 12 students by July 31.

During the hearing, Justice Khanwilkar orally remarked that University Grants Commission should announce a cut-off date for admissions to prompt school Boards to declare Class 12 results on time.

“There should not be any cause for uncertainty,” Justice Maheshwari noted.

Most States have cancelled their Class 12 exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assam informed the court on Thursday that it had cancelled its Class 12 exams and the assessment scheme was under formulation. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) also submitted that it had cancelled the exams for its students.

The court has been, in every hearing, advising caution to States, saying children should not be exposed to the risk of contracting the infection.

“We know how the second wave started and how quickly it panned out… Everything changed in a matter of 10 days… Now we don’t know how the third wave will unfold,” Justice Khanwilkar remarked on Thursday.

‘State is responsible for fatality’

Recently, the court had told Andhra Pradesh government, which insisted on braving the pandemic to conduct its Class 12 exam, that “the State will be held responsible even if there is one student fatality”.

The Union of India, while informing the court about the CBSE’s decision to cancel its Class 12 exams, had pertinently asked “who is to blame if a student dies” in answer to insistent pleas made by some parents, who pointed to the decline in COVID-19 cases, to restore the exams.

“Suppose a number of students who attend written exams get the infection, suppose a student dies… Who is to blame? It is neither safe nor prudent to have written exams,” Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, for the Union, had countered.

“Every life is precious,” the court had said.