PIL challenging 75% Marks Eligibility Criteria for JEE Mains, Seeks Deferment of Exams

JEE Mains, Mumbai High Court

A PIL has been filled in the Bombay High Court in the case Anubha Srivastava Sahai v. National Testing Agency and Ors observed wherein seeking deferment of the upcoming JEE Mains examination. Before the court, it also challenges the eligibility criterion of 75 percent marks in Class XII.

The present plea has been filed by one Anubha Srivastava wherein it is contended in the plea that the respondent no. 1 (National Testing Agency) had failed to appreciate the fact that many students who are appearing for the upcoming exams are the students from the batches of the pandemic period. Therefore, those students are being evaluated on different scales or parameters which necessarily don’t reflect the actual capabilities of the candidates. In the present case, the Public Interest Litigation filed challenges a notification issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on 15.12.2022. declaring the dates of JEE Mains, 24.01.2023 and for providing of the minimum eligibility criteria. It has been contended in the plea that many candidates are from batches that were assessed on the basis of performance in the previous years as the board exams were cancelled due to COVID pandemic.

Therefore, as per the petition the marks scored by such documents being not a true reflection of their actual ability. As these being the students with less than 75% marks but could perform well in JEE Mains and if fair chance is denied to them, it will affect the future of lakhs for bright students. The court observed that the minimum eligibility criteria was not applicable for academic years 2021- 2022 and 2022-2023. It has been stated in the plea that the NTA notification came at the end of the current academic year and suddenly, the eligibility criteria should not be changed as the students have been preparing for the exam with the expectation that it will be the same as that of last year. The petition stated that the notification has been issued at a short notice of only 40 days as compared to the usual 3 to 4 months in the previous years and there is a clash in schedule with the board practical examinations, pre-board examinations, internal assessments, vivas, etc. of various boards.

Further, the plea stated that many other competitive exams are also scheduled in January 2023 and will clash with JEE Mains. The interview of NDA SSB has been scheduled for January 23 to 27, 2023, and according to the petition, the students appearing for JEE Mains may miss out on the same. The plea seeks direction to the NTA to relax the minimum eligibility criteria of 75% in the 12th standard for JEE Mains general category candidates and 65% for candidates belonging to the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. The plea has also sought directions to the NTA to reschedule JEE Mains to April 2023 or any other convenient dates after discussing with all the state boards along with the stakeholders.

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-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008