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The government has scrapped the CBSE Class 12 Board exam for 2021. This exam held by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19.
This decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was absent for the meeting since he is undergoing treatment at AIIMS for post COVID-related complications.
It was also decided that like last year, in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by CBSE, as and when the situation becomes conducive.
While the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation through effective micro-containment, some states have still opted for a lockdown.
"Students, parents and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation. Students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation," said PM Modi.
However, it was not immediately clear what would be the assessment pattern for bringing out the final marksheet for the students.
The prime minister said in a statement that he has directed officials to ensure that the results are prepared in accordance with well-defined criteria, in a fair and time-bound manner.
Every year, close to 1.2 million students appear for CBSE Class XII examinations across the country.
As per the original schedule, the board exams were to be held between May 4 and June 14 and the results declared by July 15.
However, by the second week of April 2021, the COVID-19 situation had worsened, and the Ministry of Education decided to cancel the CBSE Class X board exams and postpone Class XII exams.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "I am glad that 12th exams have been cancelled. All of us were very worried about the health of our children. A big relief."
State governments were also asked to give their feedback on this issue. A consensus was that it is not feasible to hold exams at a physical centre.
In view of the uncertain conditions due to COVID and the feed-back obtained from various stakeholders, it was decided that the Class XII Board Exams would not be held this year.
As per PM Modi, this decision was made taking into account the interest of students giving these examinations. According to him, the issue of board exams has been causing immense anxiety among students, parents and teachers.
A petition was also filed in the Supreme Court on this matter. Following this, SC adjourned the hearing for a plea seeking cancellation of CBSE Class XII Board Exam 2021 to June 3.
In the hearing on May 31, Attorney General for India KK Venugopal appearing for CBSE told SC that the decision on the board exams will be taken in the next two days by the government.
This decision is a repeat of the 2020 stand of CBSE for the cancellation of board exams.
In 2020, the CBSE Class X and XII board examinations were to be held between July 1 and 15. This was rescheduled from the original dates in March 2020 after the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
Following this, a slew of petitions was filed in the SC seeking the cancellation of exams. Following representations from parents and the CBSE, the SC, under Justice AM Khanwilkar, accepted the CBSE notification to cancel the exams for 2020.