Goa: HC allows state board to conduct 10th and 12th exams
The HC disposed of a bunch of petitions that were filed seeking to defer the examinations because of the pandemic.Updated: May 20, 2020 16:33 IST
The high court (HC) of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday allowed the state board to conduct class X and XII examinations from Thursday, ending the examinees’ uncertainty and anxiety about their future prospects amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The HC disposed of a bunch of petitions that were filed seeking to defer the examinations because of the pandemic.
Pravin Faldessai, Assistant Solicitor General, Goa, submitted in the court a written communication received from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) late Tuesday night granting exemption to the state to conduct Class X and XII examinations from Thursday subject to certain conditions.
On Tuesday, the court had directed the MHA to inform whether the board examinations could be conducted under the fresh guidelines issued by the ministry last Sunday about lockdown 4:0, which came into effect from Monday and will be in place till May 31 to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Earlier, advocate General Devidas Pangam had told the court that “had the Central Government intended to prohibit the holding of examinations, then, it would have clearly stated that in its orders. No prohibition was ever intended, as there’s no specific bar.”
However, late on Tuesday night, state chief secretary Parimal Rai wrote to the MHA, seeking an exemption from the lockdown to hold the board examinations, and the relief was given shortly.
“The matter has been examined by the MHA taking into consideration the factual position. Goa doesn’t have a single local active case of Covid-19 (except for 39 positive cases of the people who had travelled from outside) and the onset of monsoon season during which the state will have difficulties in holding the examinations.
“After taking into account these factors and the assurance given by the state government in ensuring all safety precautions, Goa is allowed to conduct board examinations for Classes 10 and 12,” the MHA said.
The MHA stipulated that no examination centre would be permitted in the containment zone. Besides, teachers, students, and invigilators have to compulsorily wear face masks, provisions of thermal scanning facility and hand sanitisers to be made available at examination centres and social distancing norms must be strictly enforced.
“The HC has permitted the state board to conduct class X and XII examinations on the basis of the MHA’s letter. There’s no legal impediment in holding the examinations,” said Advocate General Pangam.
State chief minister Pramod Sawant welcomed the move to end the uncertainty for anxious board students.
“The board examinations will start on Thursday. I hope people will cooperate to successfully conduct the examinations. At the end of the day, this exercise involves the future of our children. It’s important that everybody cooperates amid the viral outbreak,” the CM said.
Altogether, 19,680 students will appear for the secondary school certificate (SSC) examinations, which will be held across 1,612 centres in the state.