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Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Abdul Kalam Technical University's Decision To Conduct Examinations Via Offline Mode

Srishti Ojha
11 Feb 2021 7:09 AM GMT
Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Abdul Kalam Technical Universitys Decision To Conduct Examinations Via Offline Mode
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Supreme Court has on Thursday refused to interfere in the petition filed against decision of the Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow to conduct semester examinations in offline mode. A three-judge Bench of Justice Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Ajay Rastogi issued directions while hearing petition filed by a group of students seeking quashing of...

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Supreme Court has on Thursday refused to interfere in the petition filed against decision of the Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow to conduct semester examinations in offline mode.

A three-judge Bench of Justice Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Ajay Rastogi issued directions while hearing petition filed by a group of students seeking quashing of notification providing for conduct of offline exams.

During the hearing Advocate Vipin Gupta appearing for the petitioners submitted before the Court that University's notification has notified conducting of offline examination. Students who have to appear are more than 2.5 lakhs and are staying in remote areas. They have been attending online classes for a year.

"Their future education and employment will also be online then"- the Bench remarked.

"But their examination are offline your Lordships." - Counsel responded.

"We thought you understood our sarcasm" the Court said.

The students in their plea stated that more than 700 colleges are affiliated to AKTU and approximately 4 lakh students have to appear in various courses. Having thousands of students at the examination centre is not a suggested step amidst Covid-19 which has still not ended, and the precautions and fear for infection is always there.

The plea submitted that if the examinations are conducted offline, many students will be compelled to travel from different states, thereby increasing the risk of spread of Covid-19. The same will also impose an unwarranted expense on the students, who will have to fetch accommodation for 10-20 days.

The plea argued that throughout the year the students have studied online and accordingly are prepared for online examinations only. They neither have books nor any resources to prepare for the off-line exams as they did not attend their respective colleges since march 2020 and never got books issued from the library so that they can prepare their notes properly.

The petitioners have argued that many students belong from far off areas like Jammu & Kashmir, and protest affected areas like Delhi-NCR. Various universities in India i.e. Punjab University, Amity university, Delhi University and even IIT's and NIT's are taking online exams and the same pattern must be followed by AKTU. The plea added that the University is not taking responsibility of the health and wellbeing of its students and instead has made it clear in the notification that students will be responsible for their own health and wellbeing.

The students therefore sought that notification issued by AKTU on January 25, 2021 calling for conducting offline examinations for Session 2020-2021, in its affiliated colleges be set aside as arbitrary and for being violative of Article 14 and 21A of the Constitution. The plea was drafted by Advocates Krishna Kumar and Nandani Gupta on behalf of the petitioners.

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