The Supreme Court on Thursday heard the petitions challenging the CBSE's decision to conduct compartment exams amid the coronavirus outbreak. In the petition, it was put forth that calling upon students to write exams at the present situation would be detrimental to the health of the examinees. Also, the fact the CBSE compartment exam 2020, which is scheduled to be held from September 22 to 29, would cause a delay for the students to take admissions to colleges for various undergraduate courses was put. The matter has now been listed for next hearing on September 14, Monday.
During the previous hearing, the CBSE Board was asked to file a detailed affidavit on the CBSE compartment exams, scheduled to be held this month. The petitioners had stated that admissions would be over by the time exams are held and results are announced.
CBSE Court Hearing: Who said what
Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha: CBSE could not hold exams due to COVID-19 and then they conducted a hybrid mode of exams where the students were assessed on the basis of exams that were conducted last year. Admissions for various PG and UG courses have already ended on August 31.
The problem is two-fold - compartment exams were notified on September 4 after you (court) had issued a notice. Now, exams are to be held from September 22 to 29. The question is about the safety of students which you have already dealt with in the UGC matter, etc. But compartment exams from September 22 will waste the whole year of students. There has to be some solution. Earlier, admissions were held only after the results of compartment exams were announced. CBSE can help by asking universities to grant admissions on a provisional basis.
Justice Khanwilkar: But on what basis will the colleges take admissions? Students writing compartment exams would have no percentage
Supreme Court: This is a very peculiar year. We have to look at some extraordinary situations. The solution cannot be offered by CBSE, but by another agency
Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha: Union of India and states are a party to the case. Nearly 5 lakh students are set to appear for the CBSE compartment exams
Justice Sanjiv Khanna: Compartment exams are for students who have not managed to pass the subjects as there is always a "best of scheme" to calculate the percentages
Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha: Please create some room for these students to take college admissions. What will the students do in October after the results of the compartment exam are announced?
Justice Khanwilkar: Issuing a notice to all universities across the country would not be a viable solution
Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha: Union of India can be given a copy of this petition so that they can advise or ask the states and the universities therein. My first reaction to the briefing counsel was your two prayers are self-contradictory. Can we serve the states as they are a party in my petition?
Supreme Court: It will take a long time. You have made only selective states a party. The country has to be treated as a whole, you only serve the law officer of the Union of India and not the states. Let us not complicate it further.
The Supreme Court then posted the matter for further hearing on September 14.
CBSE Court Hearing: The Supreme Court's stand
While hearing the petitions against holding the CBSE compartment exams, the Supreme Court maintained that this year is very different, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we are looking at so many extraordinary situations that have arisen due to the pandemic and in this (CBSE compartment exam) case, the solution has to be provided by another agency - the Union of India, the court said.
Posting the matter for September 14, the Supreme Court asked the petitioners challenging the scheduled CBSE compartment exams, to serve the copies of the petition on the Union of India, so that their requests for provisional admissions in universities could be considered.
About CBSE Class 12 students, the Supreme Court said the board will not be able to help the students much. The colleges and universities taking admissions for higher studies can prove to be helpful in this case, the court said.
What is the Union of India?
'Central government' can be a more simplified term for the 'Union of India', which consists of states, Union Territories and the acquired territories.
For in-depth understanding, the Union of India was proposed as a political unit that would encompass both British India and the Indian princely states. Post the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, most of the princely states within Indian territory acceded to the Dominion of India. Later in 1950, the Dominion of India was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India.
CBSE Court Hearing: What Next?
During the CBSE hearing, the Supreme Court did not mention the cancellation of CBSE compartment exams but focussed on the admission of students for higher studies. For this, all eyes are now on the universities and colleges granting admissions under various UG and PG courses. The next course of action will only be clear post the hearing on September 14.