The Andhra Pradesh government has cancelled the Class 10 and Class 12 board exams hours after the Supreme Court warned that the state will be held responsible for even "one fatality".
A Suresh, Andhra Pradesh's Education Minister, said it will not be possible for the state to organise the exams and declare the results by July 31 as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had said it may have to order Rs 1 crore as compensation in case of each fatality (due to Covid during exams) if the government went ahead with its plan to conduct the exams.
"If there is even one fatality, we may order compensation amounting to Rs 1 crore... when other boards had cancelled, why (does) Andhra Pradesh want to show it is different?" a two-member bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said this morning.
The CBSE and ISCE - two of the biggest education boards in the country - have cancelled the board exams due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands across the country over the last three months. Most of the state boards have also cancelled the Class 10 and Class 12 exams.
Andhra Pradesh, however, told the court on Tuesday that it was planning to conduct the exams as the coronavirus situation had improved.
The court today said it was not convinced about the state's plan.
"Other boards took a conscious decision based on ground reality. There is a new variant - 'delta plus'. Nobody is clear how it will affect us... Who took the decision to hold these exams and what are the parameters on which the decision was taken?" the court asked.
Experts have warned against rapid reopening of the states because of an impending third wave that could strike early if anti-Covid rules are ignored.