Union minister of education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Tuesday ruled out conducting board examinations for classes 10 and 12 till February next year in view of the COVID-19 situation.
Usually, the practical exams are conducted in January and theory exams begin every year in February and conclude in March.
The minister said a decision about when the exams will be conducted will be taken later after assessment of the situation and consultation with stakeholders.
"Keeping the current situation in mind, it has been decided that the board exams for classes 10 and 12 will not be conducted till February next year. CBSE is making necessary preparations for conducting the 2021 examinations. A decision on the exam schedule will be taken later after assessment of situation and more consultations with stakeholders," Nishank said in an online interaction with teachers.
With no clarity on the board exam dates yet, several schools have already conducted pre-board exams online to keep the students prepared.
The Central Board of Secondary Education had earlier this month announced that board exams in 2021 will be conducted in written mode and not online.
Schools across the country were closed in March to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were partially reopened in some states from October 15.
However, a few states have decided to keep them closed in view of a spike in the number of infections.
The board exams had to be postponed mid-way in March. They were later cancelled and the results announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme.
The education minister had a live interaction with students on December 10 and answered questions about various concerns regarding the conduct of upcoming board exams.
"The CBSE is yet to take a decision on the dates for conducting board examinations, including practical. In case students are not able to do practical in classes before the examinations, alternatives to practical examinations will be explored," he had said during the interaction.
The ministry of education had also announced that JEE-Mains for admission to engineering colleges will be held four times a year starting 2021 to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores.
The first edition of the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains will be held from February 23 to 26, followed by rounds in March, April and May.