The remaining CBSE and ICSE Board examinations for classes X and XII, scheduled to be held in July, have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court was informed on Thursday.
The examinees of class XII students of CBSE Board will however have the option of either taking the exams later or to move ahead with the assessment based on their performance in the last three internal exams. The re-exam option will not be available to class X students.
The option of re-examination would not be available to the ICSE Board students — neither class XII, nor class X.
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar took note of submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the CBSE, that Class X and XII board examinations scheduled from July 1-15 have been cancelled.
He said a scheme has been formulated to give options to students of XII only — for re-examination or assessment based on past performance. The CBSE said the re-exam would be conducted when the situation becomes conducive and the option to take up the re-exam would not be available to class X examinees.
The results may be declared in mid-August, the CBSE said on being asked by the court to clarify as to when the academic year will begin after the declaration of results.
The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) however told the bench, which also comprised Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, that it will not be giving re-examination option to students of Class X and XII and the results would be declared on the basis of past performances. The top court asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Centre to issue a fresh notification on class XII exams dealing with issues including the option of re-examination and internal assessment, date of results and status of re-examination keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation in different states.
“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. How are you going to deal with that situation,” the bench said while asking CBSE to come up with the fresh notification. The bench said the CBSE notification should indicate the scheme for internal assessment and give a timeline.
“The notification will be issued latest by tomorrow,” the law officer said. During the hearing, the top court was informed that states like Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have conveyed their inability to conduct Board exams.
The top court was hearing pleas seeking relief, including scrapping of remaining exams of Class XII scheduled from July 1-15, in view of increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Similar reliefs were sought from ICSE Board also. Earlier, the Centre and the CBSE had told the court that an expert body is in the process of taking final decision “very shortly” on the issue of whether to scrap the remaining exams of Class XII scheduled from July 1-15 in view of increasing number of COVID-19 cases. It was also hearing a separate plea seeking quashing of the May 18 notification of CBSE by which the date sheet for remaining exams of Class XII was declared.
One of the pleas, filed by some parents of students appearing for the exam, sought a direction to the CBSE to declare the results on the basis of the exam already conducted and to calculate it on an average basis with internal assessment marks of remaining subjects.
The ICSE Board has said it would broadly follow the government’s decision on CBSE exams.
The CBSE class XII exams had started on February 15 and were to conclude on April 3. The class X exams had started on February 21 and were to end on March 29.
However, the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COIVD-19) pandemic came into force from March 25.