The board exams for class 10 and 12 pending due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown will be conducted at the first possibility and there is no move to do away with the remaining exams, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) officials said on Wednesday.
The board is prepared to conduct the exams for class 10 and 12 for crucial 29 subjects, while the Human Resource Development Ministry has directed states to start the evaluation process for the exams already conducted and facilitate the CBSE in evaluation of answer sheets.
"Recently, there has been a lot of speculation regarding CBSE Board exams. The board's decision to take exams for 29 subjects of class 10 and 12, stands the same.
"There is no change in position of conducting board exams. Therefore, exams will be conducted," Sanyam Bhardwaj, CBSE's Controller of Examinations said.
The clarification by the CBSE officials came amid uncertainty over when the exams will be conducted leading to speculations that the exams will be done away with in a one-time arrangement.
"We are prepared to conduct board exams for class 10 and 12 pending due to the lockdown in wake of the COVID-19 situation in the country.
"The exams will be conducted for 29 subjects crucial for promotion and admissions to undergraduate courses, at the first possibility. The students will be given at least a 10-day notice before exams are conducted," a senior HRD ministry official said.
"States have been asked to start the evaluation process for the exams already conducted and have been advised to facilitate evaluation of answer sheets.
"The CBSE will also issue instructions for marking or assessment of non-important subjects not included in the list of 29 subjects," the official said.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed and exams postponed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended till May 3.
The board was not able to conduct class 10 and 12 exams on eight examination days due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Further, due to the law and order situation in northeast Delhi, the board was not able to conduct exams on four examination days, while a very small number of students from and around this district were not able to appear in exams on six days.
"Considering the extraordinary circumstances, the board had decided to conduct exams only for 29 crucial subjects as against over 40 remaining subjects. For the rest of the subjects, the board will not hold examinations and instructions for marking and assessment in all such cases shall be separately issued,” the official said.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Tuesday had interacted with education ministers of states.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had suggested that students be marked on the basis of internal assessment as it is not feasible to conduct the pending exams now.
Sisodia, who is also the education minister, said students of Delhi will be more affected due to delay in conduct of exams as different states have their own boards, while the national capital only follows CBSE.
Education ministers from different states also put forward deliberations being made about their respective state boards.
The Bihar board has already announced results for three streams of class 12 and is in the process of evaluation of class 10 exams.
The Uttar Pradesh board is yet to begin the evaluation and will take a call in this regard soon.
The CBSE has already announced that it will not be conducting any exams for students in foreign countries.
"There are several CBSE schools located in 25 countries. Each of these countries are also under lockdown and have decided to close down the schools for various and differential lengths of time.
"Under such circumstances, it is felt that the board will not be in a position to hold differential sets of exams for each of these countries," the official said.
"Also, in the present situation, it will be difficult to bring the answer books to India for evaluation purposes. Therefore, the Board has decided to not hold any more exams for the students of class 10 and 12 schools located outside India," he said.
According to the HRD ministry officials, as of now there are plans to conduct competitive exams, including JEE and NEET, in June for admission to engineering and medical colleges.
For other undergraduate admissions, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is working on an alternative calendar for the new academic session which will notify the timeline within a week.
A seven-member panel, set up to study the issue, has recommended that the undergraduate admission process be started in July-August and the new session for freshers be started from September. However, no final decision has been taken in this regard yet.