Two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) have been filed before the Karnataka High Court challenging the state's decision to hold the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Bar and Bench report, the first plea has been filed by the National Students Union of India (NSUI). It states that though the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) had issued a notification on March 30 to postpone the KCET exam indefinitely owing to the nationwide lockdown, on May 13, it had issued a revised notification for holding KCET on July 30 and July 31.
The plea mentions that on May 30, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued guidelines for phased reopening which specially stated that all schools/colleges and educational institutions shall remain closed till mid-July. Later it was clarified by MHA that all schools and colleges shall remain closed till July 31, the plea says. "However, not paying any heed to the MHA guidelines, on July 18, KEA issued a copy of instructions to COVID-19 positive patients willing to appear for KCET exam on June 29."
What does the plea appeal
- Set aside the KEA notification dated May 13 to conduct KCET exams on July 30 and July 31.
- Direct the state government and KEA to go ahead with KCET only after the completion of JEE and NEET exams.
- Consult various stakeholders such as parents and students before taking a decision regarding the schedule for the conduct of KCET.
The second plea has been moved by two practising advocates - Pradeep Kumar SP and S Hanumanthegowda. Apart from the mentioned prayers, the PIL also urges to quash the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued in respect of conducting exams for COVID-19 positive students.
Further, it is prayed that CET 2020 be cancelled, and that the marks obtained by students at the 12th standard level be considered for preparing the ranking list in order to grant admission to professional courses.