The Supreme Court was in process of final hearing today on the petition on the conduction of remaining CBSE board X and XII exams filed by a group of parents.
The petitioners in the CBSE case had highlighted that according to data by AIIMS, the COVID-19 pandemic would be at its peak in India during this time. In this light, it would be a huge risk to hold Board exams from July 1 even though the number of exam centres stands increased and the authorities have assured that proper safety will be maintained, the plea states.
These petition focusing on the difficulties that a student from containment zones will face in order to leave the area to attend the exam centre and unavailability of private vehicles for all students to reach their exam centres. They said they may become infected and then carriers themselves of the deadly virus.
The Supreme Court had thus directed CBSE to take instructions in the above plea. The CBSE was recently in the process of taking the decision with regard to the subject.
The Supreme Court was finally informed today that this year’s Class X and XII Board exams held by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stand cancelled as a result of the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.
The Court was, however, was also informed that optional Class XII exams may be conducted when the situation improves. Students who opt-out of taking these exams will be assessed on the basis of previous exams.
The hearing was done by a three-judge Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna
As per the sources, at the outset of today’s hearing, counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Rishi Malhotra, stated that Maharashtra, Delhi and Odisha have indicated their ability to conduct CBSE exams this year. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made it clear that the affidavit filed by CBSE today states that the Class X and XII Board exams scheduled for July 1 stand cancelled.
Mehta further elaborated that CBSE has a scheme by which marks scored in the past three exams will be taken into account.
He also stated that Class XII exams would be conducted “as soon as the situation is conducive.” Further, “Marks for students who opt for Class XII exams will have that marks as final.”
Those who opt-out of the exams that might be held in the future, will be assessed according to the exams they took in the past. It was also made clear that the Class X board exams were cancelled, and that there would be no optional exams for Class X students.
The Bench, however, asked the CBSE to clarify its stance in the reply filed before the Court. Calling for clarity, Justice Khanwilkar said, “If you see the dates, you will hold exams for Class 12 some time. So dates for other exams need to be postponed.”
To this, SG Mehta replied, “Admissions now will be only on the basis of the assessment. They can apply on the basis of assessment.”
Mehta added that the result on the basis of the assessment of both Class X and XII students will be published by July 15. Malhotra then suggested, “So far as assessment is concerned, in CBSE, all papers have practical and theory component. Practicals are over. Theory is left. They can take average of practical and grant total marks.”
However, the Bench refused to issue a direction to CBSE in this regard.
The Bench then directed Mehta to mention the date of announcement of results and a detailed timeline in the notification itself. Mehta replied that the notification would be issued latest by June 26, 2020.
The Court has finally submitted that it will pass formal Orders tomorrow, 26 June 2020.