A plea has been preferred in the Supreme Court seeking issuance of directions to the Centre and UGC for quashing the Notification and revised guidelines respectively calling for compulsory conduction of final term examinations amid the pandemic situation, legal news website LiveLaw.in has reported.
Filed by AOR Raj Kamal on behalf of a Law Student Yash Dubey of Baraktullah University, Bhopal and Youth Bar Association of India, the plea seeks issuance appropriate directions to take effective actions for protection of life of not only the petitioner but thousands of similarly placed students who's basic right to life which includes the right to health in being violated in light of exposure to Coronavirus.
Stating that the MHA Notification and revised UGC guidelines dated July 6 which the compulsory conduction of examinations of final year students shall "expose examinees to a great risk and will amount to flagrant violation of basic principle of right to health which is an important facet of right to life", the plea urges for providing alternative mode of assessment of the final year students in wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
"That it is trite to note that the revised UGC guidelines are in flagrant violation of fundamental rights as it fails to take into consideration the economic, mental, physical and social plight of the examinees as they will be exposed to a great risk and will undeniably sacrifice basic principle of integrity by neglecting equal basis and treatment to all examinees," it says.
The plea also takes into account the issue of those students who have already migrated from one place to another and will have to come back in order to attend the examination, thereby exposing them to greater risk to the contagion.
Thus, the plea prays for promotion of students on the basis of the performance in the previous semester by aggregation of scores instead of mandatorily having students take exams.
Dubey states that the MHA Order and Revised UGC Guidelines were issued in complete disregard to the life, safety and health of thousands of students, which is extremely dangerous for the lives of students. Further, the plea avers that a number of state governments through their concerned departments had written to the HRD ministry requesting re-examination of the guidelines as well.
"It will be absolutely unjust to neglect the problems that will be faced by thousands of students who will sit for online examination as the same will indubitably work against the interest of students whose access to internet is precarious and who do not have personal computers or laptops in their house, which are imperative to conduct online examination... It is appalling to note that there have been incidences of suicide being committed by a student after failing to attend online classes in absence of smartphone and computer..," the plea says.
Additionally, the plea prays for issuance of directions of the MHA to call upon universities to submit a set of parameters for evaluation of the students on the basis of past performance and subsequently promote them, accordingly award provisional degree to the students.