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Law Students Write To Bar Council Of India For Cancellation Of End-Term Exams; Evaluation By Alternate Methods Amid Covid-19

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
29 May 2021 9:15 AM GMT
Law Students Write To Bar Council Of India For Cancellation Of End-Term Exams; Evaluation By Alternate Methods Amid Covid-19
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Law students from across the country have made a representation to the Bar Council of India seeking relaxation of "academic pressure" by cancelling their end-term assessments in view of second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The students state that considering the current disasters of India's health infrastructure and the scarcity of all resources, even compulsory online examinations...

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Law students from across the country have made a representation to the Bar Council of India seeking relaxation of "academic pressure" by cancelling their end-term assessments in view of second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The students state that considering the current disasters of India's health infrastructure and the scarcity of all resources, even compulsory online examinations pose a problem to students.

"It is necessary to acknowledge that not all students are equally placed either economically or mentally under the current circumstances, therefore, mandating the conduct of separate End-term components, creates an unequal classification between those who have the capacity and resources for writing an online exam and those who do not. Thereby, striking at the heart of the right to equality under Art. 14," the letter states.

It reads that an alarmingly high number of students are suffering the effects of this deadly virus, resulting in additional roles of catering to the sick family members. Further, many students having different physical ailments are unable to get the necessary treatment because the hospitals are busy catering to people in the COVID ward.

However, it is alleged, the present evaluation mechanism overlooks the mental and physical impact that the situation has on students and require them to perform with the same productivity they did before.

The students have therefore urged the BCI to relax Rule 19 of Schedule III of the BCI Rules of Legal Education 2008 which mandates universities and colleges to typically conduct an end term component, and to submit the examination plan to the BCI.

They have stated that BCI's decision dated November 1, 2020 to defer the end-semester exams is not sufficient inasmuch as the same was made in light of hoping that the Pandemic would subside at an earlier stage. However, the current picture is beyond grim and the matter of 'when' the pandemic will subside seems as a far-fetched reality.

It is therefore suggested,

"Universities and colleges that have conducted/ are in the process of conducting internal assessments should be allowed to not conduct end term assessments. Instead, they should be allowed to scale up the assessments that have already been conducted, so as to meet the total required graded component."

It is further suggested that if a college or university has already completed its end term component before this representation is made, the option of scaling up assessments should be provided to them too.

That apart, the students have urged the BCI to direct all Universities and law colleges to not seek evidence in the form of Covid+ reports for granting extension of deadlines.

They state that shortage of Covid-testing kits, delay in obtaining reports and false negative reports are the harsh realities of the day and thus imposing 'evidentiary policy' for granting relief to students is manifestly unjust inasmuch as it assumes such evidence to be easily accessible.

"The relaxations currently provided are wholly insufficient in the minds of the larger student community, hence we seek the intervention of the BCI for greater relaxations to be granted. We request you to peruse through the relaxations that we are suggesting, as we strongly believe that these considerations will satisfy the concerns of law students all over the country and provide them with adequate relief during these tumultuous times," the students wrote.


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