In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, pending Class 10 and 12 examinations have been canceled, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) informed the Supreme Court through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Thursday.
The exams scheduled between July 1 and 15 have effectively been canceled. However, for Class 12 students there is an option of appearing for an examination when the situation gets better.
The court took up the matter after parents of Class 12 spoke about the peak of the deadly disease.
Filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra, the plea mentioned the best way forward was to cancel the exams altogether.
The petitioners also said some students belong to containment zones, hence, amplifying the risk of virus transmission. Some also lack private vehicles, they said.
Another plea was filed by advocate-on-record and Khaitan & Co Partner Vanita Bhargava.
This petition, which was joined with the original one, argued that CBSE's notification announcing board exams in July differentiates between Classes X/XII students, students of other boards/universities, and also students of Classes IX/XI of CBSE-affiliated schools.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjiv Khanna took up the matter.
When the bench asked if the option of appearing for exams will be given to students or whether they will be evaluated on internal assessment marks, Mehta replied this choice will be extended to Class 12 students.
CBSE has come up with a method wherein the last three exams will help in declaring results.
Meanwhile, Class 10 exams for Northeast Delhi have been canceled.
About the new academic year, SC said it can start by September only if results are declared by August. CBSE assured the board results will be out by mid-August.
When SC asked if state boards were party to CBSE's conclusions, Mehta said they assist the central body.
The bench then directed CBSE to redo its draft notification and include state boards as well.
Posting the matter for another hearing tomorrow, Friday, June 26, SC asked CBSE to come up with a fresh notification regarding exams and the evaluation process.
During hearing when petitioners requested the apex court to intervene in the matter of pending entrance exams too, the bench turned down the plea.
Notably, ICSE has also canceled the pending exams, advocate Jaideep Gupta said.
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