Law Centre-I, Delhi University
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Academic evaluation cannot outweigh lives of students: Law student from DU writes to Chief Justice, Delhi HC

The letter urges the Chief Justice to protect the fundamental and human rights of students in view of the Central Government order permitting the conduction of final year examination in all universities.

Aditi Singh

A law student from Law Centre-I, Faculty of Law, Delhi University has written to the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice DN Patel, urging him to protect the fundamental and human rights of students in view of the Central Government order permitting the conduction of final year examination in all universities.

In her letter to the Chief Justice, LL.B student, Aastha Khanna has stated that the Central Government Notification mandating the conduction of final year examination by universities as per UGC guidelines is in flagrant violation of the fundamental rights and moral values.

I write this letter to appeal, through this Hon'ble Court, to the humanity and moral sense of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), University Grants Commission (‘UGC’) and other academic bodies adamant to conduct the examination of students when the Coronavirus has taken over the world and totally changed our lives. Although MHRD has suggested an alternative model for conducting examination such as online Open Book Examination (‘OBE’), it has lost sight of the socio-economic barriers which many students not only from remote areas but also from the cavernous depths of metro cities face.
the letter states.

Khanna has asserted that while arriving at its decision, Centre failed to take into account socio-economic barriers, infrastructural disparities, the "insurmountable torment" faced by students from economically backward class due to lack of facilities, requirements of students with special needs and the academic demands of students from across the border.

It is stated that in view of the July 6 order, States which had earlier decided to scrap final term examinations shall now be "forced to change their stand" amid the uncertain future of COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Highlighting news reports on the death by suicide of young students due to lack of facilities to attend online classes, Khanna says,

This is not how an education system should be. The academic evaluation and examination system shall not outweigh the lives of students.

The letter also points out that the provision to sit for final term examination "through special chance" is also not in the interest of the students as it does not align with the timeline of those who have pre-placement offers or intend to apply for higher education.

Stating that the education system should work in the best interest of the students and not against them, Khanna has prayed,

Your lordship, more than anything else, the students crave for their fundamental rights and human rights to be protected..I urge and implore you to take steps to serve the interests of all the stakeholders regardless of their social or economic disabilities, by adopting an alternative model of examination and prevent the situation from culminating into an implicit acceptance of social injustice and upheld the values enshrined in the ever so reverential Constitution of India.

Read the Letter:

Letter to Chief Justice, Delhi High Court from DU student.pdf
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