The High Court of Kerala has stayed the publication of results of national level entrance exam of Indian Council of Agricultural Research for admission to doctoral degree programs and award of Junior/Senior Research Fellowships for the academic session 2018-19. The exams were held on August 18 and 19, when the state was reeling under unprecedented flood crisis.
The stay order was passed by Justice Muhammed Mustaque in a writ petition filed by two candidates - Amal C T and Adarsh C K - who could not attend the exam due to floods. The petitioners stated that as per the hall tickets allotted to them, the exam was scheduled on August 18 & 19 at a centre in Kozhikode. Since heavy rains and massive landslides took place all over the state from August 15 onwards, the petitioners and several other candidates made a request before the Minister for Agriculture to direct ICAR to postpone the exams. The Minister made a statement that he had issued necessary directions to ICAR to postpone the exams considering the flood situation.
The petitioners stated that ICAR did not pay heed to the requests. They further alleged that ICAR changed their exam venue to Kochi without proper notice to the them. The exam at Kochi was held from 01.30 to 4.30 PM on August 18, after the exams in other centres in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, by using the same set of question papers used in other centres. The exam at Kochi was attended by less than 40% candidates, as most of them were in relief camps and had not received informations regarding last minute change of venue.
In this backdrop, the petitioners approached the High Court, praying for cancellation of the examination and re-conduct of the same. They also prayed for an interim order to direct ICAR to withhold the results of offline AIEEA UG/PG & AICE JRF/SRF Entrance Examinations held on August 18 and 19 and to stay all further proceedings pursuant to the examination.
While admitting the writ petition, Justice Mustaque passed an order granting interim stay as prayed for a period of three weeks. Resultantly, the publication of results of the entrance exam which was held all over the country in 56 centres will be withheld.