Students from Assam move Supreme Court seeking cancellation of Class 10, 12 Board exams

The development comes after state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu last week said that the exams will be held between August 1 and 15, if the situation is under control.

A group of students in Assam Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to cancel Class 10 and 12 state board examinations, slated to be tentatively held in the first week of August.

An intervention application has been filed on the behalf of the students in the writ petition filed earlier by advocate Anubha Srivastava Sahai (WP(C) 620 of 2021) before the court to cancel state board exams. The matter is likely to be heard on June 17.

Represented by advocates Abhishek Choudhary, Prabhu Prassana Behera, Ritika Ritu, Abhishek Patnaik and Nabab Singh, the students are seeking directions for cancellation of exams as well as a “formula for performance evaluation”. The application said that this should be in line with the formula adopted by CBSE and other education boards.

The development comes after state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu last week said that the exams will be held between August 1 and 15, if the situation is under control.

In Assam, the Class 10 exam is conducted by the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) and the Class 12 exam by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC). Approximately seven lakh students (2.5 lakh from Class 12 and 4.5 lakh from Class 10) are meant to appear for the exams. Both exams were initially scheduled for May 11. On May 4, the government announced that the exams would be postponed on the account of the rise in cases and that the revised exam dates will be announced soon.

Following Pegu’s announcement, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the exams will happen if the positivity rate in Assam stays below two per cent in the first week of July.

The petitioners have argued that positivity rate data is very “dynamic in nature” and has the potential to increase or decrease exponentially within a less span of 24 hours. “The positivity at a particular date can never be and should not be the basis for making the crucial decision” the application stated. 

It added that the uncertainty had created a situation of “havoc and panic” among the students and therefore, almost all students, parents, and family members had been “pushed into a state of a dilemma” and their “mental condition has been devastated.”

Students have continued to register their protest — with the hashtag #CancelAssamBoardExams — on social media, citing health concerns during the pandemic.

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