The Supreme Court in the case Pragya Higher Secondary School vs National Institute of Open Schooling observed while allowing a writ petition filed by the school that National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has a responsibility to fix examination centres in a manner to enable students to appear in the examination with certainty and ease.
The Court issued the Following directions, while disposing the Writ Petition: with respect to fixation of examination centres that would be accessible from the Accredited Institutions with which the aspirants are connected, the NIOS should develop and implement criteria.
Within a distance of 10 kilometres from the Accredited Institutions with which they are connected, the NIOS shall endeavour to fix the examination centres.
It will be the responsibility of NIOS liberty to take into account the credibility of the Institution offering to be an examination centre and such other factors as are necessary to ensure integrity of the examination including law and order, while fixing the examination centres.
The Court observed that while exercising that right, the NIOS will also keep in mind its duty to provide accessibility of educational certification by enabling students to reach the examination centres and Every step must be taken to prevent cheating and copying which are antithesis to education. NIOS must have the freedom, which they have retained in Norms mentioned in Chapter-5, to identify, accept or reject an application offering to be an examination centre.
As fixing examination centres is a sensitive duty involving security and continuous monitoring and that integrity in the conduct of examination is as important as the education itself, the Court observed.
within a distance of a maximum of 10 kilometres seems reasonable for holding an examination, the court observed.
Furthermore, the Court observed that while disposing a writ petition filed by Pragya Higher Secondary School seeking a direction from the National Institute of Open Schooling to fix examination centres for open schooling students at a reasonable distance from their study centres, referred to as Accredited Institutions. The school contended that despite the presence of either an NIOS Education Centre or other recognized institution existing within a maximum distance of 10 kilometres from the AIs, the students have to travel to the identified examination centre in Category A to Category E as provided in the Guidelines and They had also sought a direction to NIOS to evolve a policy of distance criteria while fixing the examination centres for the Public Examinations conducted by NIOS.
the bench comprising of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and the Justice PS Narasimha observed and contended that It is for NIOS to go an extra mile rather than expecting the students to walk long distances from villages and towns to take the examination
The Court observed that while exercising that right, the NIOS will also keep in mind its duty to provide accessibility of educational certification by enabling students to reach the examination centres and every step must be taken to prevent cheating and copying which are antithesis to education.