New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the pending exams for Class 10 and Class 12, which were earlier scheduled to be held between July 1 and July 15, have been cancelled. 

Citing the inability to hold the exams in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Board, told the top court that it will hold exams when the condition is conducive.

Mehta told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar that Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu - the three states worst-hit from COVID-19 - have conveyed the Board their inability to conduct the pending examinations. 

The government also said that it has forumated a scheme for the assessement of Class 12 students on the basis of last examinations. 

The court asked the board if the students will get an option to reappear for the exams later or will it declare the results on the basis of internal assessment marks. On this, the CBSE said that the option to appear for exams later will be given to class 12 students.

The top court asked tjhe CBSE to issue fresh notification clarifying details of Class XII board exams.

Class 10 exams, which were to be held only for North-East Delhi students, stand cancelled with no provision for re-examination. Class 10 will be assessed on basis of performance in last three exams, the board informed the court. 

Following CBSE's decision, the ICSE also informed the Supreme Court that it has cancelled its pending Class X and XII board exams with no option of re-examinations.

The top court was hearing a plea, filed by some parents of students appearing for the exam, seeking a direction to the CBSE to declare the results on the basis of exam already conducted and to calculate it on an average basis with internal assessment marks of remaining subjects.

The top court had deferred the hearing on Tuesday to June 25 after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Centre and CBSE, submitted that discussions on the matter were at an advanced stage and that a decision will be taken by Wednesday evening.

During the hearing on a separate plea concerning ICSE exams, the counsel appearing for the ICSE had told the bench that they would broadly follow the government's decision regarding CBSE exams.

What the plea said

On June 17, the CBSE had told the apex court that it would "very shortly" take appropriate decision on the issue raised in a plea which has sought quashing of the board's notification for conducting remaining examinations of Class XII.

Raising concern over the safety of lakhs of students, the plea filed in the apex court has said that they might be exposed to COVID-19 infection if they have to appear in the examinations amid increase in number of cases of virus infection.

"The said petition would also demonstrate the extent of discriminatory and arbitrariness conduct of the respondent/CBSE in issuing the notification for holding of the remaining examination and that too in the month of July, 2020 wherein as per the AIIMS data, the said COVID-19 pandemic would be at its peak," the plea said.

It alleged that considering the gravity of COVID-19 pandemic, the CBSE has cancelled the examinations of Class X and XII for its around 250 schools which are situated abroad and has adopted the criteria of awarding marks on the basis of either practical exams conducted or the internal assessment marks.

The plea said that in April this year, the CBSE had directed the schools to promote students of classes IX and XI to the respective next grades on the basis of school based assessments.

It also said that on May 25, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development had announced conducting of exams for classes X and XII in almost 15,000 centres as against 3,000 centres used earlier.

It said even if it is to be assumed that 50 per cent of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic then the students, who will appear in the exams, could be potential carriers posing a great risk to themselves and also their family members.

The plea said that several premier educational institutes, like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), have also cancelled their exams including those for the final year students because of the pandemic situation.

It has also raised concern over the issue where an examination centre might fall within the COVID-19 containment zone. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta