Updated: April 16, 2021 6:07:51 am
The Tamil Nadu government has walked back its August 2020 order that cancelled all arrear exams for college students.
The decision, taken because of the pandemic, was popular among the student community. It would have applied to all undergraduate and postgraduate students except for those in their final year. But the move ran into trouble when a lawyer, Ramkumar Aditiyan, and the former vice-chancellor of Anna University, E Balaguruswamy, moved two separate PILs challenging it.
During the hearing of the PILs on April 7, the Madras High Court termed it an “uninformed political decision” and directed the state and the UGC to suggest a solution to hold these exams.
“It is inconceivable that a whole mass of students will be certificated to have qualified in a system without having basic knowledge in respect of key aspects thereof,” the court said.
When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the state government informed the bench that they had decided to abide by the guidelines of the UGC. Advocate-General Vijay Narayan said it will be mandatory for all students who have arrears to attend online exams.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the state to conduct the online exams, preferably within eight weeks.
Meanwhile, citing the cancellation of CBSE exams, DMK chief and the opposition leader M K Stalin Thursday questioned the move behind conducting NEET exams for PG courses.
“CBSE exams have now been cancelled due to the second wave of #COVID19. With increasing cases and fatalities, when our doctors are fighting hard against all odds, is this the right time to hold the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for PG courses?” he tweeted.
Covid crisis meet today
The Tamil Nadu government will take a call on dealing with the evolving Covid-19 situation in the state at a core committee meeting with health experts on Friday. While the government continues to take a stand that it is not in favour of a lockdown, senior health department officials said the steadily climbing infection cases across the state may be forcing the state to impose some stringent norms in the coming days.
The state currently has a stock of about 11 lakh vaccines, which is expected to run the vaccination drive for the next one week. As the government requires about 1.5 lakh vaccination doses a day for their 6,000 vaccination centres across the state, the state has written to the Centre on Thursday seeking more vaccine doses.
So far, 41.72 lakh people have been vaccinated in the state.
On Thursday, state health secretary J Radhakrishnan had met the Madras high court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and briefed him about the latest status of pandemic situation in the state.
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