The Persistence of the government of Andhra Pradesh To get its grade 12 students to brave the pandemic to take exams, the Supreme Court took a hard line on Thursday, saying the state will be held accountable and even forced to do so in the event of death 1 crore to be paid as compensation.
A bench of judges AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari asked the Andhra Pradesh government what it was trying to prove by risking lives when other states across the country chose to cancel their state exams.
“Do you want to prove that you are different? Nobody should try to prove anything here … It’s about life, ”Judge Maheshwari turned to the lawyer Mahfooz A. Nazki for Andhra Pradesh.
“Unless we are convinced that you can conduct examinations without death, we will not allow that examination. If other boards have canceled their exams, you want to prove you can … are you trying to do that? ”Judge Khanwilkar asked.
Judge Khanwilkar said: “The state will be responsible for every death … Remember that there are states that pay 1 billion pay to front-line workers, we need to think a little about this in your case”.
The court grilled the state over the ambiguity of its eight-page affidavit about why and how the exams should be conducted by the end of July amid the pandemic.
“Didn’t you see that there is a new variant of the virus called ‘Delta Plus’ … The center has said that some states – Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh – are more susceptible to this variant … We don’t know how to do it plan… We cannot and you cannot say what will happen by the end of July, ”said Judge Khanwilkar, emphasizing the uncertainty that was capitalized in Andhra’s examination plans.
The court asked the state to explain the statement in its affidavit that each exam room can only accommodate 15 to 18 students.
“They say you have 5.19 lakh students taking Grade 12 exams. Simple math shows that if you occupy 15 students per class and 28,864 rooms for 18 students per room, you will need 34,634 rooms. Do you have the space or are you planning to take exams outdoors? Show us a screenshot of your record of the decision … Again, the rooms should be well ventilated. You will also need over 34,000 supervisors … You made statements in the affidavit without showing us how you came to this decision or how you intend to implement it, ”Judge Khanwilkar told the state government.
“Other bodies have made a conscious decision not to conduct the exams … But your affidavit says, ‘You will endeavor to conduct the exams on an experimental basis,'” said Judge Maheshwari on the side of Andhra.
The court asked if the state had an “emergency plan” in case the COVID situation worsened in the middle of the trials.
“You should have a specific, concrete plan and give the court a firm commitment that you will follow the full COVID protocol. We are not very convinced of your plans … This is a sensitive issue in relation to the lives of students and others, ”said Judge Maheshwari.
Judge Khanwilkar asked when the state would announce the results if it did not intend to conduct exams until late July.
“Students in CBSE, ICSE and other bodies would be admitted, your students would be excluded,” said Judge Khanwilkar.
Mr. Nazki said he would take instructions on the issues identified by the court. The Bench has scheduled a hearing on June 25th at 2pm
In its affidavit, filed on June 23, the Andhra Pradesh government said it had to hold exams because there was no other “reliable alternative” to assess student performance.
It had said that unlike the CBSE and other committees, the Andhra system gives grades in grade 10 and does not give grades. The state board had no foolproof way to review internal exams at various schools.