A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking for guidelines to regulate online classes through video-conferencing/virtual learning classes for small children due to the existence of a threat to small children being exposed to "highly suggestive and obnoxious materials available on the internet".
"Immediately discontinue the online classes
until the formulation of comprehensive guidelines for hoisting of online classes in completely encrypted and safeguarded manner which have mechanism to prevent the accessibility of numerous internet driven prohibited websites while the online classes through video conferencing in session"
The plea states that such materials may have a "serious bearing on all-rounded growth and development of the children". In the alternative, it seeks for directions to the Respondents to immediately discontinue online classes till comprehensive guidelines are formulated for hosting of classes in a completely encrypted and safeguarded manner. Filed through Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi on behalf of Dr. Nand Kishore Garg, the plea states that there is a growing concern of the vulnerability of the small children towards "cyber predators and other online driven pornographic open websites which are having a serious bearing on the educational development of children". "The Petitioner also has the concern that the present online video classes are not regulated as highly dangerous online applications are being used to provide online education to the small children which are prone to be exploited by predacious cyber hackers", states the plea. Underlying the danger involved as it may expose children to the threat of "child pornography predators", the plea seeks for guidelines to prevent the same. The petition further highlights the discriminatory message which is sent to millions of economically weaker children who are deprived of accessibility and availability of computer driven devices with connectivity of 4G internet facility. Therefore, it seeks broader mechanism to be developed to put an end to the "assymetrical arrangement for online classes" as the same are presently limited to "children of opulent section of society and children of the weaker sections remain deprived to the benefits of online classes". "The Petitioner being a concerned citizen of the country feels it is his paramount duty to raise the issue for formulation of comprehensive guidelines in respect of conducting the online classes through highly safeguarded and identified independent video applications through which e-learning can be made available to the lakhs of impressionable small children without any threat of being exploited by cyber predators". Accordingly, the petition prays for directions to the Respondents to formulate comprehensive guidelines for the protection of children or to discontinue the classes until such guidelines are stipulated. It lastly prays for a mechanism to ensure that students from economically weaker sections are not deprived of accessibility to online classes. Click Here To Download Petition