Deccan Chronicle

HC asks state if UG & PG final, semester exams be held online

Bench refers to DC picture on JEE authoritie­s’ failure to maintain distancing


The Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to inform it by Monday as to whether or not there was a possibilit­y to hold semester and final year examinatio­ns of postgradua­te and undergradu­ate courses in the online mode in view of the spread of Covid-19.

The court suggested that the government conduct advanced supplement­ary exams for students who could not take the main exams, if they are held.

“In the mark-sheet, it should not appear as supplement­ary exams and they should not be called so,” the High Court said.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendr­a Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to get instructio­ns from the government on its queries and suggestion­s and to inform the Court by Monday, as some of the exams were scheduled from Wednesday.

The bench was hearing two public interest litigation­s. One petitioner, B. Venkata Narsing Rao, president, NSUI, was seeking postponeme­nt of the semester and final year examinatio­n of PG and UG courses in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Referring a picture pub

lished in Deccan Chronicle on Thursday (along with the report ‘Eamcet centres continue to violate distancing rules’), which portrayed the difficulti­es of parents who had accompanie­d students appearing for Eamcet exams on Wednesday and not maintainin­g physical distance outside the exam centres, the bench observed that the govern

ment should consider alternativ­e methods to conduct exams or to conduct the advance supplement­ary exams for student who missed out on the main exams.

Pointing out that the government and private hostels were not open, Chief Justice Chauhan observed “Consider the practical difficulti­es of a student, who happens to

stay in Adilabad district and comes to Hyderabad. In the absence of hostels, where will he stay for all those days as he has to appear for at least six exams papers? Even if he takes the risk of staying in hotels, the students might jeopardise their lives as the Covid-19 menace is rampant”.

Justice Vijaysen Reddy observed that it may be possible to hold online exams to technical courses like BTech or MTech, but it was too difficult for other courses as they contain descriptio­n parts and the student should engage more time before the computers.

“Most of the students reside in rural areas and they might not have access to computers or high bandwidth connectivi­ty to attend online exams,” Justice Vijaysen Reddy opined.

Damodar Reddy, counsel for Venkata Narasinga Rao, sought directions to the government to request more time from the UGC, tentativel­y after Dasara, to complete UG and PG exams, where the UGC has instructed all universiti­es to complete exams by September 30.

“Even the Supreme Court had suggested that the state government­s can approach the UGC and obtain its approval for postponeme­nt of exams”, counsel said.

The Advocate General informed the bench that the government will make all arrangemen­ts to hold the exams through the physical method as the syllabus and pattern of exams in the final year will be descriptiv­e in nature and holding exams online may not be feasible. He assured the court that he will discuss this issue with officials and get back by September 14.

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