Will CBSE scrap the remaining board exams of Class 12? The board will inform the Supreme Court about its decision on Thursday, June 25. It will share with the court whether it has decided to scrap the remaining exams of Class 12, scheduled from July 1-15. Meanwhile, a decision on rescheduling the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for IITs and the NEET test for medical colleges will be based on the apex court's verdict for CBSE Board exams. While engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains is scheduled from July 18-23, medical entrance exam NEET is to be held on July 26.
CBSE Board exams: What is the plea
The top court is 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.
It was last week when the group of parents moved the Supreme Court praying that CBSE cancels the remaining papers scheduled to be held from July 1 to July 15 in view of the COVID situation. The parents expressed concern over the safety of the students and requested the apex court to quash the CBSE's May 18 notification by which the datesheet was declared. The plea said that students might be exposed to COVID-19 infection if they have to appear in the examinations amid the increasing number of coronavirus infections.
"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 has said.
It has 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.
"Ensuring proper cleanliness and safety standards as prescribed by the concerned government in COVID-19 situation in those 15,000 exam centres spreading over length and breadth of the country including rural sectors would not only be risking health and life of children but also would be an exercise in futility and an eyewash," the plea said.
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.
CBSE Board Exams: Centre, CBSE in Supreme Court
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the top court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar that the government and the board are aware of the anxiety of students. The bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, was requested to adjourn the matter for a day. Mehta told the court that he would apprise the apex court about the decision taken by the authorities. The matter was adjourned for June 25, which is when CBSE and Centre will inform the court of their decision on CBSE Board exams. "We will inform Supreme Court about our decision on Thursday," a CBSE official told India TV. The hearing will begin at 2 PM.
CBSE Board Exams: Delhi Govt wants cancellation of board exams
Earlier this month, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also wrote to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', urging him to cancel pending board exams, citing the spike in COVID-19 cases and high number of containment zones in the city. "I hope you would agree with me that the board exams, particularly those of Class 12 are a high stake exam for children. Hence, subjecting them to take this exam in such an uncertain and anxiety-prone situation would not be fair to them. It would be extremely difficult to conduct the exam," Sisodia had said in his letter.