[Cancellation of arrear exams amid COVID-19] No student will get degree without passing online exam: State assures Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Thursday took on record the State’s assurance that an online exam will be conducted for those college students whose exams were earlier cancelled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic

No student will be awarded their degree without first passing such assessment, the State assured.
Last week, a Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy had expressed concern that the cancellation of arrear exams through an August 26, 2020 notification appeared to indicate that students were allowed to pass without any assessment.
Advocate General (AG) Vijay Narayan informed the Court on Thursday that an examination will be conducted for all students whose arrear exams were cancelled and that this is likely to be conducted after May 17.
“Unless all appear for the online exam as mandated by UGC, we will not be declaring them as pass… without online exam, they won’t get their degrees,” he told the Court.
Accordingly, the Court recorded only after completing such online assessment, a candidate will be deemed to have passed.
“To repeat, no candidate would have cleared any semester or any arrear exam in terms of the impugned notification of August 26, 2020, without taking an online examination and assessment. It is only after completing such online process and assessment and clearing the same will any candidate be considered to have passed the relevant stage.
A petitioner urged the Court to direct exams to be held offline, wherever possible. He submitted that the slightest move during the conduct of online exams is sometimes reflected as a malpractice.
Chief Justice Banerjee, however, responded,
“We are in very difficult times. We cannot responsibly ask the authorities to conduct offline. We will leave it to their judgment. We do not know what the situation is. We are in ivory towers.”
The order passed by the Court on Thursday was, therefore, confined to recording that online supplementary exams would be conducted for those students who have not taken their arrear exams. The State should make every endeavour to immediately issue final certificates to those who have cleared such exam after participating in the online process, the Court added.
The Court urged the State and concerned institutions to complete the process as expeditiously as possible and preferably within eight weeks. A report is to be filed before the Court when the matter is listed next after the summer vacation.

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