HC allows conduct of Goa SSC, HSSC exams during lockdown

PANAJI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday permitted the Goa government to conduct SSC and HSSC examinations, after the Union Home Ministry also gave permission in writing for the conduct of exams during the ongoing lockdown.

Advocate General Devidas Pangam said, that with the High Court order, there was now “no legal impediment” in holding the exams for the SSC which get underway on May 21 and the remainder of the HSSC exam which begins on Wednesday (May 20).

“The stand of the government, that it is right and proper for the benefit for the student community to hold these examinations at this stage, has been vindicated by today’s order of the High Court,” Pangam told reporters.

“The MHA has permitted the holding of HSSC and SSC examinations in the state. There was no reservation on the part of the MHA,” the Advocate General also said.

Nearly 11,000 students are expected to appear for the SSC exams and several thousand are eligle to appear for the remaning three papers of the HSSC exam, whose schedule was disrupted after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown in March.

One of the petitioners, Frederick Vaz, in his petition before the HC had questioned the holding of SSC exams during the Covid-19 lockdown, claiming it could imperil the lives of the students appearing for the tests.

According to Pangam, the government had made several arrangements for conduct of the examinations, including limiting 12 students to a classroom in view of social distancing norms and setting up of proper sanitisation facilities in school premises.

Reacting to the HC order, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said all the 40-odd active Covid-19 cases in the state were “imported” and there was no community transmission reported in Goa, which made the government’s case for conduct of examinations valid.

“All cases in Goa are imported and there is no community transmission. The mental stress faced by students (about the fate of the Board exams) was more than the fear of corona. I welcome the court decision. People should stop doing politics over students,” Sawant said.


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