June 3, 2021 7:48:53 pm
The Maharashtra government on Thursday clarified before the Bombay High Court that the Common Entrance Test (CET) for Class 11 admissions can be taken by Class 10 students across all educational boards including the state board, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and International Board (IB) as the aim is to “bring all students on the same/ single platform”.
The HC disposed of a petition challenging the state government decision of May 12 cancelling the Secondary School Certificate (SSC-Class 10) exam and seeking to hold the same.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL by Pune resident and retired professor Dhananjay Kulkarni argued through advocate Uday Warunjikar challenging cancellation of Class 10 exams of the state board.
On May 28, the Maharashtra government announced that Class 10 students will be evaluated through an internal assessment formula for the academic year 2020-21. It also said that admissions to Class 11 will be conducted physically through optional CET based on Class 10 syllabus and those unwilling to appear for it will be admitted on the basis of an aggregate of their Class 10 marks.
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On Thursday, advocate Uday Warunjikar submitted that most schools in the state do not have the infrastructure for online facilities and could not complete the curriculum for Class 10. He also said there should not be discrimination among students of different boards regarding CET Class 11 admissions and the GR did not clarify whether students from all boards can appear for the CET.
The court, however, said that there was no ground for it to interfere in the matter.
“Whether exams are being held or not, under constitutional scheme, states are entrusted to make policy decisions. When the executive has made a decision, it may appear to you and us to be a foolish policy, but only because we think it’s not a good policy, that’s not grounds for us to interfere…” the court said.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, representing the Maharashtra government, clarified that “irrespective of the boards conducting the public examination at Class 10 level, all such students, if declared ‘passed Class 10’ and are willing to participate in state CET for Class 11 admissions later this year shall be allowed to so participate.” Warunjikar submitted that in light of the state’s submissions, the issues except evaluation formula were “virtually over”.
The court noted in its order, “In view of the statement made by Advocate General, the petitioner does not wish to proceed to continue with the petition. As per petitioner, since the May 28 circular did not appropriately lay down the procedure for evaluation of class X examination, liberty to him to challenge such circular through fresh proceedings be reserved. We grant liberty. We dismiss the PIL as withdrawn.”
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