Two Chief Ministers had asked Prime Minister Modi to postpone the CBSE Board exams amid the rising COVID-19 cases.

Students writing exams inside a classroom
news Education Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 14:02

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 scheduled to be held from May 4 to June 7, 2021 have been cancelled and the Class 12 board exams, scheduled to be held from May 4 to June 15, have been postponed, the Education Ministry announced on Wednesday. The results of the Class 10 Board exams will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board and any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her will be given an opportunity to write the exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold exams. For Class 12 students, the situation will be reviewed on June 1, 2021 and details will be shared subsequently. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the new date for the start of the Class 12 Board examinations is announced, the government said.

The decision came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and other top officials on Wednesday afternoon. Ahead of the meeting, several politicians had called for cancellation of the exams amid a massive surge of COVID-19 cases across the country. According to the Union Health Ministry, India reported 1.84 lakh new cases in 24 hours on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Education said that the decision is being taken after taking into consideration the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, and also taking into account the safety and well-being of students. "The pandemic situation in the country is seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 positive cases in many states, with a few states having been affected more than others. In this situation, schools have been shut down in 11 states. Unlike State Boards, CBSE has an all-India character, and therefore, it is essential to hold exams simultaneously throughout  the country," the Ministry said.

On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had written to the Union government, requesting postponement of the CBSE exams. This comes after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called for the exams to be cancelled. While addressing the media on the rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, he said that exam centres can become major hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus. “Children's lives and health is very important to us. I request the Centre to cancel the CBSE exams,” Kejriwal had said.

Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi have been advocating for the cancellation of the Board exams as well. Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said, “In the light of the devastating Corona second wave, conducting #CBSE exams must be reconsidered. All stakeholders must be consulted before making sweeping decisions.” On Sunday, Priyanka Gandhi wrote to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. “Being forced to sit for the exams donning masks, gloves and other protective gear under the spectre of a deadly disease will cause unnecessary anxiety to these children and impact their ability to perform as well”.

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