BREAKING NEWS

COVID Emergency: Plea in AP High Court to Cancel Board Exams for Students

A plea has been moved in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the conduct of Class 10 and 12 Board Examinations by the Andhra Pradesh Educational Board amidst worsening healthcare crisis across the country. 
 
“Conducting the aforesaid examination across Andhra Pradesh State at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death,” the plea sets forth.
 
The petition, led by the Global Peace Initiative, through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, MS Vishnu Shankar and Deepak Singh seeks a deferral of the Board Exams by at least two weeks, till the worst of the COVID-19 has passed. Exams are slated to commence in the 1st week of May. 

It says: “…nearly 12 lakh young students are likely to appear in the aforesaid Board exams. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are increasing in India at an alarming rate. The deadly pandemic COVID-19 has already affected about 70 Lakh people in India and the situation is worsening by every passing day.

Conducting the aforesaid examination in our state at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. The best recourse at this stage can be to wait for some more time, let COVID-19 Crisis subside and then only conduct these Exams, in order to save the lives of the students and their parents.”

Stating that the conduct of the examinations at this juncture could risk exposing more than 12 lakh students to the virus, it is argued that such a risk of exposure violates the right to health. Those who were infected with COVID-19 after the commencement of the exams would be excluded from appearing, it is additionally argued. Such an exclusion would impinge upon the right to equality, the petition states. 

“The students of petitioner association have a right to life under article 21 of the constitution which is endangered blatantly by the decision not to postpone the examination. The students of petitioner association have a right to write the examination under a better atmosphere without danger. This is also a right guaranteed under the Constitution” the Plea elaborated.

The plea also points to the fact that Class 10 and 12 examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations Boards have been similarly deferred in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases. Seeking parity with students studying in schools affiliated to those boards, the petitioner seeks a deferral on the Andhra Pradesh Education Board examinations as well. 

Taking the stand that the best recourse at this stage is to wait for some more time at least for two weeks, the petition seeks a deferral of the exam, and an urgent ad interim stay upon the same. It remains to be seen how this will be taken up by the Court. 

Meanwhile, demands for cancelling or at least postponement of board exams have been there from all the opposition parties in the state. Even students from the state have requested several celebrities to amplify their voices, given the spike in COVID cases across the state and India. However, the YSRCP government seems to be adamant about these demands. 

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