23 May 2021: Short format for Class-XII board exams likely; no decision yet
The central government is reportedly considering two suggestions to conduct the board examinations for Class XII. Earlier in the day, the Centre held a meeting with all states and union territories regarding the conduct of the exams in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The meeting did not arrive at a decision, however, reports said the new examination schedule will be announced on June 1.
Context: CBSE, CISCE, most state boards had deferred exams
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and most state boards have deferred Class XII examinations. Entrance examinations like the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) have also been postponed. Students have pushed for the exams to be canceled, citing safety during the pandemic.
Report: Centre asks states to submit suggestions by May 25
At the Sunday meeting, NDTV reported citing sources that two suggestions were presented to conduct the Class XII board examinations. The meeting was chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who asked states/UTs to submit their suggestions by May 25. Singh said the government's priority will remain to conduct the examination in a "safe and secure environment." A decision is expected by June 1.
Option #1: What was the first suggestion?
According to NDTV, the exams can be conducted within three months under the first option—one month of pre-exam activities, two months of exams/results, another month for compartment exams. The exams will only be held for major subjects. The other subjects will be graded as per the performance in major subjects. The exams would be three hours long and will likely be held in August.
Option #2: What was the second suggestion?
Under the second option, 90-minute exams will be held for major subjects. Candidates will have to appear in one language and three elective subjects. Based on their performance, the fifth and sixth subjects will be graded. These exams can be held twice with the second phase starting a fortnight after the first phase. The first phase can begin from July 15, the CBSE said.
Fact: Delhi Minister recommends cancelling exams
During the meeting, Delhi's Education Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, said that the board examinations should be canceled. He also suggested that students and teachers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that Delhi is ready to vaccinate Class XII students within two days.
2020: Last year's exams were postponed, then canceled
Last year, the board examinations had to be postponed mid-way in March. The exams were eventually canceled as the pandemic progressed and the students were graded on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme. Competitive examinations such as the JEE and NEET were also postponed twice last year due to the pandemic, when India witnessed its first wave of COVID-19.
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