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SC allows Kerala to hold offline Class 11 exams

“We hope and trust that all precautions and necessary steps will be taken by authorities and there will be no risk to children,” a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging the Kerala government’s decision to hold a physical exam for Class 11, saying “third wave is not in offing immediately,” and all measures related to the Coronavirus protocol are being taken.

“We hope and trust that all precautions and necessary steps will be taken by authorities and there will be no risk to children,” a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said.

“Earlier we had intervened because there was the possibility of the third wave in September. Now as per reports that is not going to happen immediately,” it noted.

“We are convinced by the explanation offered by the state and trust authorities will take all precautions and necessary steps so that no untoward situation is faced by students who are of tender age and appearing for the proposed examination. Dismissed.”

The apex court said it had intervened on the earlier occasion as there was a possibility of a third wave of the corona by September. “The third wave is not in offing immediately,” the bench said.

On September 3, worried by an “alarming” COVID-19 situation in Kerala, the apex court stayed the state government decision, three days before they were scheduled to begin.

The top court had observed that “cases in Kerala are about 70 per cent cases of the country and children of this age cannot be exposed to this risk”.

While passing the order today, the bench took note of the affidavit by the Kerala government that mentioned the Covid protocols that will be in place once the schools are reopened. The state government had also mentioned the recently held all India JEE examination while requesting the court to list its stay on its decision to reopen schools.

The Kerala government in an affidavit had told the top court that online examinations will be a disadvantage for students with no access to laptops and mobile phones.

The conduct of examination through online mode will prejudice a large number of students who have no access to laptops, desktops or even mobile phones. The students belonging to the lower strata of society are depending on mobile phones or tablets for attending online classes.

“In many areas, internet connection or mobile data are not available. These students will never be able to write online examinations,” the state government had told the court.