SC Orders NIOS To Fix Examination Centres within 10 Kms

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The Supreme Court has ordered the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to establish examination centers within a 10-kilometer radius of approved institutions so that students can sit for the exam with confidence. According to a  bench comprising Justices S A Nazeer and P S Narasimha, a significant majority of pupils use open schooling, who originate from rural areas.

“The majority of these students come from low-income families, rely on infrequent public transportation, and are almost certainly working.”

It’s easy to anticipate the repercussions for such students if examination centers are unavailable. The bench added that-

“The inability to travel huge distances for each examination can only result in the student dropping out, which is the country’s biggest concern today. The benefit of reducing the burden of distance to avoid dropout from schools through group walks, availability of cycles, and other means for socially and educationally disadvantaged groups is recorded in Chapter 6 of the New Education Policy, 2020”

The Supreme Court was considering a petition brought by an NIOS-certified institution, which requested that the  directions being given to the NIOS to set up test centers for open schooling pupils at a fair distance from their recognised universities. The petition asked for a directive to NIOS to develop a policy of distance criteria when determining the examination centers for NIOS examinations.

According to the top court, the NIOS has a responsibility to set up test centers in such a way that students can confidently and easily take the exam. The bench stated that NIOS should go the extra mile instead of forcing students to journey significant distances from villages and towns to take the exam. 

The Apex Court bench finally added “NIOS shall make every effort to locate examination centers within a 10-kilometer radius of the Accredited Institutions with which they are affiliated” 

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