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Centre: Will notify online edu guidelines by July 15
The Centre reiterating its commitment to ensure that online classes, which had come into vogue during the COVID-19 lockdown, was safe for both school children and college students, informed the Madras High Court on Monday that the guidelines for the same is being finalised and is set to be notified by July 15.
The submission was made before a division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha by the newly appointed Additional Solicitor General R Shankaranarayanan. Recording the same, the bench refused to grant any interim stay until the guidelines were notified.
The bench then adjourned the batch of pleas in this regard to July 20 while directing the state to submit its stand on the issue.
The bench also sought the Dean, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and the Government Ophthalmic Hospital to submit a report on the eye strain the children would suffer owing to long hours spent before computers and mobile phones. The said report is pending submission since a couple of hearings.
Earlier, counsels appearing for the petitioners opposed the conduct of online classes without any rules or regulations in place. It was pointed out that the state is yet to reveal its stand, while the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) has filed a counter in support of such online classes.
MEIT in its counter on pointing out that a robust administrative framework to regulate video conferencing platforms under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules of 2011 and other related Acts, are already in place, held extraordinary situations warranted extraordinary solutions and so online education had become a necessity during the lockdown.
“Online education is an evolving concept and has become a necessity during this pandemic and both the Centre and the state governments are keen that students need to have continuity in their studies,” the counter said.