16 Sep 2021 2:02 PM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Thursday reserved its judgment in the batch of petitions filed by ICSE and CBSE students aggrieved by the scheme prepared for admission to professional courses, particularly engineering colleges in the State this academic year. The petitioners had sought a directive to the State to provide admission to professional courses for the academic year 2021 in the...
The Kerala High Court on Thursday reserved its judgment in the batch of petitions filed by ICSE and CBSE students aggrieved by the scheme prepared for admission to professional courses, particularly engineering colleges in the State this academic year.
The petitioners had sought a directive to the State to provide admission to professional courses for the academic year 2021 in the State considering the marks secured by students in the entrance examination rather than including the scores obtained in their Class XII examinations.
Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar after the conclusion of the arguments by all the parties remarked,
"The issue here is that for CBSE and ICSE students, there was no final examination in Class 12 due to the pandemic. If that is the case, there are no marks based on their performance this year. This implies that there is no question of standardisation of the marks that do not even exist. In that scenario, how can there be any admission based on such standardization?"
Two of the petitions had also sought a directive to postpone the closing of the portal to apply for the same till the results of the improvement examinations were out.
Central Government Counsel Sajith Kumar V relied on the decision in Parshvanath Charitable Trust & Anr v All India Council For Tech. Education to substantiate the Centre's stand that a schedule for the commencement of classes had already been fixed.
The Counsel submitted that a change in this schedule will have a bearing on students across the country, and urged that it could not be postponed.
In this regard, the Court observed,
"If the students are not satisfied with the marks they received, they are entitled to opt for improvement. That is their right. So if I don't allow these petitions, then I'll be going against the doctrine of equality. It seems the only option left with me is to direct the State to compress the time required to correct the improvement exam papers."
However, the Court made it clear that it had not yet finalised its judgment and that these were merely his take on the matter.
The Bench also asked Advocate Arun Krishna Dhan appearing on behalf of one of the petitioners to look into a judgment of Supreme Court in a similar matter operating to standardisation for NEET.
The court pointed out that in this case, it was argued on behalf of the authorities that a standardised formula was necessary since students came from different boards, and this stand was allowed by the Court despite rejection from the opposite party.
Owing to the pandemic, CBSE schools and ISC schools in the State had not conducted final examinations for Grades X and XII.
As per the latest proposal by the Centre, the qualifying marks are to be calculated on the basis of the scores secured by each student during the previous three classes namely classes IX, X, and XI.
The petitioners contended that their results were therefore not evaluated based on their academic performance in Grade XII alone, while students enrolled in State schools had given final exams, the results of which will reflect their performance in this Grade alone.
The primary grievance of the petitioners was that students studying in CBSE/ISC will have a different method of evaluation than ones in the State Board. They contended that this would put them to prejudice in the admission process to several universities in the State.
Ins support of this argument, they had also alleged that the State Board examinations did not evaluate the skill and knowledge of the students for the reason that for a 60 mark exam, they were given a 120 mark question paper, without any restriction on the number of questions a student can attempt.
Case Title: Salvia Hussain (Minor) and others v. State of Kerala & Ors. and connected matters