The Supreme Court, while allowing a petition by a school, observed that the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has a duty to fix examination centres that will enable students to appear in the examination with certainty and ease, Livelaw reported.
The court disposed of 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 petition also requested that NIOS develop a policy of distance criteria when determining examination centres for NIOS-conducted public examinations. Despite the presence of a NIOS Education Centre or other recognised institution within a maximum distance of 10 kilometres of the AIs, the school stated that students must travel to the identified examination centre in categories A to E as specified in the guidelines.
The necessity for an examination to be held within a 10-kilometre radius appears acceptable, according to the court.
The court ruled that setting up examination centres is a complex operation that necessitates security and continual monitoring, and that exam integrity is as vital as education itself.
The court gave the following instructions in response to the writ petition, according to LiveLaw:
A) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIOS) should design and implement criteria for the establishment of test centres that are accessible from the Accredited Institutions with whom the aspirants are affiliated.
B) NIOS will make every effort to locate examination centres within a 10-kilometer radius of the Accredited Institutions with which they are affiliated.
C) When determining test centres, NIOS shall be free to consider the credibility of the institution offering to serve as an examination centre, as well as any other factors essential to maintain the integrity of the examination, such as law and order.