GATE 2022: SC agrees to hear pleas seeking postponement of exam due to COVID-19

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the plea seeking postponement of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering Exam, 2022 (GATE 2022) in view of the third wave of the COVID-19.
GATE 2022: SC agrees to hear pleas seeking postponement of exam due to COVID-19
GATE 2022: SC agrees to hear pleas seeking postponement of exam due to COVID-19
Published on Feb 02, 2022 05:33 PM IST
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ANI | , New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the plea seeking postponement of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering Exam, 2022 (GATE 2022) in view of the third wave of the COVID-19.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli will list the matter for hearing after advocate Pallav Mongia, appearing for petitioners, mentioned the matter for urgent hearing of the case.

Two petitions are filed in the issue - one by the students/candidates appearing for the GATE 2022 Exam - and another one is a PIL on behalf of Umesh Dhande who runs an education institute that mentors students for GATE and other exams.

"The country is currently suffering from a 'third Wave' of rising COVID cases with a number of daily cases touching a record 3 lakh and above. In this frightening situation that has engulfed the whole country, the Petitioners are being forced to write the GATE 2022 physically which poses a massive health risk on the lives of many aspirants like the petitioners," the pleas said.

The GATE 2022 is scheduled to be held on February 5, 6, 12 and 13.

The petitioners have also challenged the instructions of January 15, 2022, issued by the Centre in which instructions to the candidates appearing for the exam were notified. The pleas said notification/ instructions to the candidates were annexed with the admit cards.

The petitioners while stating that more than 9 lakh students are appearing for the exam across 200 exam centres, they said guidelines were not issued or procedures not set out to assess the health conditions of the students appearing for the exam.

"The instructions issued also lacks clarity, creates confusion among students as it creates an unnecessary classification between students who will be allowed to appear for the exam and those who would be barred with no medical or legal basis. The instructions allow asymptomatic students who are showing symptoms to appear for the exam but not those students who have tested positive but are asymptomatic. There exists no intelligible differentia in such classification by the Respondents as per instructions and thus it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India," the pleas stated.

It is pertinent to point out that the instructions incentivize students who might be showing symptoms of COVID-19 to not get tested for COVID as a positive test will bar them from appearing for the exam, the pleas added.

It further stated that on the contrary, the instructions allow students who are showing symptoms to appear for the exam but have not tested positive for Covid. The pleas said, "This classification is absurd and self-contradictory, and defeats the resolve of the Government to test maximum people for proper tracing and treatment."

The petitioners also said that many states have already postponed some of their exams scheduled in January and February 2022, in light of third-wave hitting the country.

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