CISCE 10th, 12th exams cannot be allowed in state from July 2: Maharashtra informs Bombay HC
The state government on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that the state Disaster Management Committee headed by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in its meeting on June 22 had decided that the state could not permit conducting of pending ICSE exams to be held from July 2 in view of Covid-19 pandemic. Advocate General Kumbhakoni submitted that the state had consistently maintained that it was principally against conducting exams in view of the pandemic.
A division bench of justice Dipankar Datta and justice S S Shinde while hearing the public interest litigation filed by Arvind Tiwari, a parent and advocate seeking cancellation of the class 10 and 12 board exams of the CISCE that were rescheduled in July was informed by the state that it had arrived at a decision on whether it would permit the exams to be held.
Kumbhakoni submitted a note by Vandana Krishna, additional chief secretary, school education which stated that a meeting of the State Disaster Management Committee was held through video conferencing on June 22 under the chairmanship of the chief minister. The note says that the following decision was taken, “It was decided that the state cannot permit the conduct of the ICSE exams from 2 nd July, 2020 given the current COVID-19 situation in the state. This decision may be conveyed to the Hon’ble Bombay High Court.”
When petitioners supporting conduction of exams in July informed the court that some states could allow conduction of the rescheduled exams, the court asked Kumbhakoni what would be the state’s stand in such a scenario. The AG submitted said that the council was free to take the students to adjoining states and get them to appear for the exams there. He said that thereafter the board after taking due precautions could get the students back to the state.
On the question of whether the above decision was applicable for the pending exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as well, Kumbhakoni who was assisted by government pleader Poornima Kantharia submitted that the state had not addressed the issue as the petition was pertaining to CISCE exams. He added that the issue would be addressed as and when the CBSE approached it.
As the issue of the CISCE having to submit the methodology of grading students who did not opt for physical exams is pending, the bench posted the hearing for June 29 after it was informed that the centre was yet to reply to the direction by Allahabad High Court regarding conduction of exams.