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Call on scrapping board exams likely today: CBSE to SC

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JUN 23, 2020 11:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Discussions on cancelling remaining Class 10 and 12 board exams are at an advanced stage and a final decision in this regard is likely to be made on Wednesday, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

CBSE on May 18 issued a notification on holding the examinations that were put on hold two months earlier due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjiv Khanna said they will wait for CBSE’s decision and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.

Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, who appeared for the Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE), told the court they would like to know what CBSE decides before deciding what to do.

The bench told Gupta, “In the interest of the children, if the government takes a decision for CBSE, it should be adopted by you too. You must take this seriously as we are in an unprecedented situation.”

The Supreme Court last week asked CBSE, which is scheduled to conduct the exams from July 1 to 15, to consider scrapping the exams. The suggestion came in response to a plea from a group of parents, who have sought the cancellation of the exams citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

In their plea, the parents cited the pandemic and said conducting the examinations across over 15,000 centres would unnecessarily expose children to the risk of contracting Covid-19. It asked CBSE to allot marks to students for the remaining papers on the basis of their internal assessment and performance in practicals and examinations they took in March. The petitioners pointed out tat CBSE had cancelled Class 10 and 12 board examinations for students enrolled at 250 odd schools abroad.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for CBSE, said discussions on this are at an advanced stage. “We will apprise the court by Thursday. By tomorrow [Wednesday], it will be finalised.”

Advocate Rishi Malhotra, who represented the petitioners, said CBSE should not delay the decision any further as anxiety among students was increasing with every passing day.

The bench also asked Mehta to take instructions with regard to another petition seeking the cancellation of ICSE Class 10 and 12 papers exams scheduled from July 2-11.

Mehta told the court ICSE is an autonomous board and the Centre cannot take a decision on its behalf.

Gupta told the court that ICSE would follow the decision of CBSE. “Let this matter be heard along with CBSE petition on Thursday.” He said a petition in this regard was also pending in the Bombay High Court .

The states of Maharashtra, Delhi and Odisha have asked CBSE to scrap the exams.

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