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CBSE, CISCE July exams cancelled

Students will be awarded scores on the basis of internal assessment of performances in last 3 school tests
CBSE office at Preet Vihar in New Delhi.

Our Legal Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 26.06.20, 04:56 AM

The remaining Class X and XII exam papers for CBSE and ICSE-ISC students, rescheduled to be held from July 1 to 15, will be cancelled because of the Covid-19 threat, the Supreme Court was told on Thursday.

In these papers, the students will be awarded scores on the basis of an internal assessment of their performances in their last three school exams, the bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna heard.

However, the Class XII CBSE students will have the option of taking the written exams later on a “conducive date”, solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said.

No such option will be available for the CBSE’s Class X students.

Nor will the CISCE — the board that conducts the ICSE exam for Class X students and the ISC exam for Class XII students — offer this re-test option to its Class X or XII students, its counsel Jaideep Gupta said.

Mehta said the CBSE would try to declare the results by July 15 — on the basis of internal exams for the papers in which tests will not be held — so that the Class XII students can take the various competitive exams.

“Class XII students will be assessed on the basis of their last three internal exams. (They) will have option to opt for (a written) exam to be conducted later,” Mehta said.

He said the CBSE’s regional centres in Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had already expressed their inability to conduct the exams because of the epidemic.

The court asked the CBSE to place before it the proposed notification cancelling the exams along with an affidavit explaining in detail how students would be evaluated on the basis of internal exams and how the date for the optional Class XII exams would be fixed.

“You have said that you will conduct exams when the situation is conducive. But the situation may be different from state to state.... Will the decision be taken by a central authority or will the state take the decision?” the bench asked.

Mehta said the board’s central controller of examinations would send the necessary instructions to its regional centres.

The court said that if the next academic year was to start by September, the optional exams must be wrapped up by August.

The notification and the affidavit will be examined at the next hearing on Friday morning.

The court is dealing with a batch of petitions from CBSE and CISCE students that have sought cancellation of the board exams in the light of the pandemic.

Advocate Rishi Malhotra, appearing for some of the petitioning students, pleaded that the results be declared as soon as possible, preferably within a month.

“Let them (authorities) take a call on that,” Justice Khanwilkar observed. “It’s for the CBSE and the government to coordinate. We will not give the timetable....”

The CBSE had put on hold exams in about 50 Class X and XII papers in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak. It later said that tests in the 29 main papers would be held in July while marks would be awarded in the remaining papers on the basis of internal assessment.

Of the 29 papers, six were to be held for Class X students from northeast Delhi, who were prevented from taking these exams in February because of communal riots.

For Class XII students, tests were to be held in 11 subjects solely for students from northeast Delhi, and in another 12 subjects — including business studies, geography, Hindi, computer science and sociology — for examinees from across the country.


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