There is no question of reversing earlier decision to cancel class 12 board exams, the Supreme Court said on Thursday and approved the assessment schemes of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which has adopted 30:30:40 formula for evaluation of marks for students based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination said however that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance in class 10, 11 and 12 exams, in finalising the final board results.
The CISCE said however that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance in class 10, 11 and 12 exams, in finalising the final board results.
Both the boards said they would declare the class 12 results on or before July 31.
A special bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari perused the assessment schemes of both the boards and said, "Prima facie, we have no hesitation in accepting the same and permit the Boards to proceed on that basis.
"However, the scheme must incorporate two aspects...the first is about providing for Dispute Resolution mechanism, in case students apply for correction of the final result declared by the concerned Boards."
The second issue referred to by the bench was about the time-line to be specified for declaration of the result and the date before which the optional examination will be conducted subject to 'conducive situation and logistical constraints'.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate J K Das, who were representing the Centre, the CBSE and the CISCE respectively, agreed to the suggestions of the bench on incorporating disputes redressal mechanism, dates of results and tentative date-sheet for optional class 12 exams in the schemes.
The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), in its assessment scheme, referred to components to be evaluated and the weightage in percentage to arrive at final results.
The CBSE said it will evaluate class 12 students for theory based on 30 per cent marks from class 10 board, 30 per cent from class 11 and 40 per cent from marks based on the performance in unit, mid-term and pre-board tests.
It said the marks obtained by class 12 students in practical and internal assessment on actual basis as uploaded by schools on CBSE Portal will be also considered in deciding final results.
The bench rejected the plea of senior advocate Vikas Singh, for some students, that there should be a relook of the decisions of CBSE and CISCE to cancel class 12 board exams in view of the fact that tests like Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) would be conducted in physical manner.
'We are of the view that this plea (review of cancellation) cannot be taken forward. For, we have already accepted the decision taken by the concerned Boards to cancel XIIth standard examination and had placed it on record on the previous date.
'In any case, the students, who want to appear in the examination for improvisation of their marks, will get that opportunity under the scheme. That takes care of the concern of such students..,' the order said.
The top court referred to schemes of assessment of both the boards and said there was no 'question of reversing the earlier decision regarding cancellation of examination' because no prejudice will be caused to students as they can still appear in the optional examination to be concluded in due course.
In the hearing conducted through video conferencing, the top court said prima facie, it has no reservation to accept the assessment schemes and the boards can proceed on the same.
However, the (assessment) scheme must incorporate the provisions for dispute resolution in case students want correction of final result declared and the second is for declaration of results and when the timeline for optional exams would be declared, the bench said.
The suggestions were accepted by the boards.
"We will have it on Monday. You (CBSE and CISCE) are free to finalize your scheme and notify it.
"If further suggestions are given, then we can consider it," the bench ordered, adding that the suggestions of Singh may be incorporated later.
The bench was hearing pleas seeking directions to cancel the class 12 exams of the CBSE and CISCE amid the pandemic situation.
At the outset, Venugopal said, CBSE has been in existence since 1929 and this has never happened before in the history of CBSE.
He said the assessment criteria has been devised by a committee of experts and for this purpose, the CBSE has decided to consider the performance of students in class 10, 11 and 12.
For class 10, the marks based on the average theory component of the best three performing subjects of the main five subjects would be considered and their weightage would be 30 per cent, the law officer said.
Elaborating further, he said the marks obtained in theory paper in class 11 will be considered and given 30 per cent weightage.
The marks obtained in unit test, mid-term and the pre-board exams of class 12 would be given 40 per cent weightage in deciding the final results, he said.
Marks of practical/internal assessment etc. of class 12 will be considered on actual basis as uploaded by the schools on CBSE portal, he said, adding that the 'total marks awarded should be in consonance with the past performance of the schools in class 12 board exams'.
On June 3, the bench had said it was happy to note that the government had cancelled the class 12 board exams, and had directed the CBSE and the CISCE to place on record well-defined objective criteria for assessment of students in two weeks.