The Education Ministry has postponed the CBSE Class XII 2021 board exam while CBSE Class X board exam has been cancelled. This is in wake of the second wave of COVID-19 across India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a meeting with the education ministry to take this decision. The exams were originally slated to begin on May 4, 2021.
"The well being of the students has to be the top priority for the Government. The Centre would keep in mind the best interests of the students and ensure that their health is taken care of at the same time their academic interests are not harmed," said PM Modi during this meeting.
Following this, education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced that the board exams for Class Xth to be held from May 4-June 14, 2021 are cancelled. The results of Class X board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the CBSE board.
"Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis (in Class X) will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams," he said.
Every year, close to 1.5 million students write the CBSE Class 12 board examinations and 1.8 million students appear for the CBSE Class 10 board examinations.
For CBSE Class XII board exam, the situation will be reviewed on June 1, 2021 by the board, and details will be shared subsequently. A notice of atleast 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed this decision. "I am glad that the exams have been cancelled/postponed. This is a great relief for lakhs of students and their parents," he said.
Other opposition leaders also lauded the government for this decision. However, there was also a call to take a swift decision for the Class XII students as well.
"Glad the government has finally cancelled the 10th standard exams however a final decision must be taken for the 12th grade too. Keeping students under undue pressure until June makes no sense. It’s unfair. I urge the government to decide now," said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, General Secretary, Indian National Congress.
The CBSE and the Education Ministry under Nishank had sought feedback from students, schools and teachers on conducting the board examinations in 2021 amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, the CBSE was among the education boards that had cancelled examinations for the remaining Class 12 papers in the wake of the pandemic. The exams were postponed in March 2020 once the lockdown was announced to contain the coronavirus.
Among other examination boards, Maharashtra has also postponed its board exams.
The state's school education minister Varsha Gaikwad announced on April 12 that keeping in mind the schedule of entrance exams for professional courses, the Class XII board examination will be held by end of May 2021, while Class X board exams will be in June 2021. The detailed schedule is yet to be released.
State chief ministers including Maharashtra's Uddhav Thackeray, Kejriwal and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh had also asked PM Modi to postpone all the board exams including CBSE, ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.
On April 13, India saw 1,84,372 reported positive COVID-19 cases and 1,027 deaths. This has pushed the total tally to 13.9 million cases with 1,72,085 deaths.