Class XII students could either opt for an assessment scheme or appear for the remaining exams whenever they are held.

Port Blair, June 25: The Union government and the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the remaining exams for classes 10 and 12, scheduled between July 1 and 15, have been cancelled due to concern for the safety of students amid the pandemic.

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) also agreed “in-principle” with the government decision to cancel the pending exams.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the CBSE, said Class 12 students could either opt for an assessment scheme to be notified by the CBSE shortly or appear for the remaining exams whenever they are held as soon as atmosphere becomes more ‘conducive’.

Mr. Mehta said the assessment for the remaining exams for Class 12 would be done taking into account the marks scored in the “past three exams”. The assessment results would be declared by July 15, he said.

“The remaining exams for Class 10 CBSE students have been cancelled. As for Class 12, the students’ assessment will be done on the basis of the past three exams. If a student feels he has not performed satisfactorily and may do better in the remaining exams, he can opt to appear for them whenever conditions become conducive... Then those marks got, whether higher or lower, will be treated as final. A notification will be issued shortly. We wanted to show Your Lordships before issuing it,” the Solicitor General told a three-judge Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.

But Justice Khanwilkar asked who decides “when conditions would become conducive”.

“Will the State decide individually or will it be a pan-India decision taken by the Centre?” Justice Dinesh Maheshwari asked Mr. Mehta.

“That would be dealt with at the Central level...” Mr. Mehta responded.

The Bench, also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna, pointed out how conduciveness may differ from State to State at a given point of time.

To this, Mr. Mehta merely said the situation cannot be decided hypothetically now.

Justice Khanwilkar pointed out that “entrance exams for future courses would also have to be re-scheduled”.

Parents of the affected students, who are petitioners in this case and represented by advocate Rishi Malhotra, also urged the court to direct the CBSE to declare the assessment results for Class 12 exams by June end. He said many entrance exams are lined up for July.

But Justice Khanwilkar said it was up to the CBSE to work out the details of the assessment scheme.

“50% of the students may opt for the assessment scheme and the other 50% would opt for better marks... Any problem in the assessment scheme, you [parents] can come,” Justice Khanwilkar addressed Mr. Malhotra.

The court however told the CBSE to modify its notification and detail the assessment scheme. It also asked the CBSE to specify the date for declaration of the assessment results in its notification, which may be issued by June 26 at the latest.

The Bench directed the CBSE to file a detailed affidavit to “give more clarity” and listed the case on June 26 at 10.30 a.m. for passing orders. (Courtesy: The Hindu)