CBSE Class 12 Exam Case: Lawyers for 512 students say more reaching out

CBSE Class 12 2021 Exams: Youth Bar Association filed an intervention plea in PIL against holding CBSE, ISC exams on behalf of 512 students

CBSE Class 12 Exam Case: Lawyers for 512 students say more reaching out representational image (Source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | May 31, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Youth Bar Association of India (YBAI) is hoping for a “decision in favour of the students”. Representing 512 students set to write the Class 12 board exams, they had filed an intervention petition in the Supreme Court which was already hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) case against holding offline ISC, CBSE Class 12 exams 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It’s not just the 521 students, there are many more who are constantly trying to reach us,” said

Tanvi Dubey, YBA member who helped with the petition. “Multiple student groups reached out to me on Twitter and invited me to join a Google Meet. Since these students were from all over India filing the petition in their name would have been impossible during the lockdown. So we filed it to represent them.”

At the hearing on Monday, May 31, Attorney General for India, Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, said the government will take a final decision on Class 12 exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) before Thursday. The Supreme Court has adjourned judgment on the petition Thursday, June 3.

“Now that the government has made it clear that it will come up with a decision before Thursday, we can hope that there will be some decision in favour of the students,” said Dubey.

ISC, CBSE Class 12 board exams 2021

The PIL countering the notification postponing the CBSE Class 12 board exams was filed by advocate Mamta Sharma on May 14. Since then, the Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ organised a meeting between Union ministers, state education ministers and education officials on holding the CBSE Class 12 exams. The Class 10 exams had already been cancelled. At the meeting, the CBSE has placed two options before states to pick from -- both formats involve offline CBSE exams for which students will have to go to school. Later, the Centre hinted that it and most states favoured a format in which students would write much shorter, objective-types papers in a handful of subjects and at their own school.

However, students have been protesting online demanding cancellation of the Class 12 board exams for weeks, using the hastags, #cancelboardexam2021 and #cancelboardexams.

The Youth Bar Association of India filed an application of intervention that added additional submission to the petition of Sharma in the form of an intervention application.

“Instead of filing a new petition we thought we would file an intervention in addition to the plea filed by advocate Mamta sharma as it did not cover all the points that we wanted to point out from the students’ side,” said Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, president of Youth Bar Association of India..

‘Medical catastrophe’ and Class 12 board exams

The petition filed by the association said that the country is “witnessing a medical catastrophe” and that the decision to conduct offline examinations will be “irrational, unjust and unfair”. It has requested for “an alternative assessment“ for evaluation of the students.

The petition pointed out the decision to hold offline exams will be “contradictory to the government's own decision” on cancelling the Class 10 exams citing safety concerns.

It had also pointed out that several schools have been converted into COVID-care centres thus making them COVID-19 hotspots.

Lawyers said that their representation was for more than just 521 students as more and more students are reaching out in support. They also said that the situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic is worse than last year.

“The court has asked the government to give good reasons if they are departing from the CBSE guidelines issued back in 2020. It is also to be considered that if we compare it to 2020, there is a huge increase in the number of cases and deaths,” said Dubey.

The Supreme Court in June 2020 had approved the CBSE evaluation scheme for Classes 10 and 12 after many exams were not held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the evaluation scheme approved by the Supreme Court, students who have completed all the CBSE Classes 10, 12 exams were assessed based on their performance in the exams. However, the students who appeared for more than three exams the results were based on their performance in the average of the best three subjects.

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