Tamil Nadu

‘Students won’t be allowed to clear arrears without taking online exams’

The court was told the government earlier decided to cancel arrear exams, considering the threat posed by COVID-1  

The State government on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that students from arts and science colleges would not be allowed to clear arrears without appearing for online examinations. It said 2,66,339 students from 10 different universities in the State had already appeared in the first schedule of the examinations conducted since October 2020, and the rest 1,93,370 students would be made to appear in the second schedule.

Defending the State before the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, Advocate-General Vijay Narayan said the government had on August 26, 2020, decided to cancel the arrear examinations of arts, science, engineering and MCA students in the State, considering the threat posed by COVID-19. It had decided to award marks to them by moderating the external scores in the last appearance and the internal marks.

The University of Madras, Annamalai University, Madurai Kamaraj University, Bharathidasan University, Bharathiar University, Mother Teresa Women’s University, Alagappa University, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Periyar University and Tiruvalluvar University adopted the government’s decision. Accordingly, they declared 4,55,370 students as having passed the exams based on the moderation of marks, and 5,345 as having failed. However, Anna University, the Board of Technical Education and the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Education University refused to adopt the government’s decision, and hence, it was not applied to engineering, polytechnic and teacher education students.

Anna University’s former Vice-Chancellor E. Balagurusamy and advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan approached the High Court with the present cases, challenging the government’s decision.

Passing interim orders in the case on December 1, 2020, a Division Bench, led by Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, had ordered that no university should declare its students “all pass”, without the conduct of written examinations, either through the online or the offline mode. Pursuant to the court order, all universities conducted supplementary examinations and it was taken by 2.66 lakh students for improving marks already awarded to them based on the moderation of internal scores.

Since the first Bench led by the Chief Justice too had on April 7 this year disapproved of the government’s decision to permit the students to clear arrears without writing an examination, the Higher Education Department had decided to make the rest of the 1.93 lakh students too take up the second schedule of the supplementary exams, the A-G, assisted by special government pleader (higher education) E. Manoharan, said. “No student will be awarded a degree without writing the examinations,” he told the Bench. After recording his submissions, the judges directed the High Court Registry to list the cases in the second week of July so that the government could, by then, come up with a further report on the second schedule of the exams. They also ordered that those who had already written the exams be issued with the certificates as expeditiously as possible.

When it was brought to the notice of the court that there were certain anomalies in the online exams conducted by the universities and that the artificial intelligence system had declared students to have indulged in malpractices even when they moved their bodies, the judges said it would not be appropriate for the court to interfere in such issues that should otherwise be left to the best judgement of the academicians concerned.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 6:08:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/students-wont-be-allowed-to-clear-arrears-without-taking-online-exams/article34330994.ece

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