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Will hold compartment exams for Class 10 and 12 students by month-end, CBSE tells SC

The top court was hearing a plea filed on behalf of over 2 lakh students seeking cancellation of the exams on the ground it is not safe to write the papers amid a pandemic.

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New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will conduct Class 10 and 12 compartment exams, and also papers for those who wish to improve their marks in September-end.

CBSE counsel Rupesh Kumar made this statement before a bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, while the bench was hearing a petition filed on behalf of more than 2 lakh students, seeking cancellation of the exams on the ground that it is not safe to take the papers amid a pandemic.

The court asked the CBSE counsel to file an affidavit in response to the plea, asking the lawyer to also stipulate the scheme of the examination and the way it will be held. The top court sought details of the scheme by 7 September and it will take up the matter again on 10 September.

The petitioners want the board to come up with a plan to ensure that neither the students are forced to appear in the exam during the peak Covid-19 nor is their whole year wasted due to the compartment of a single paper.

Also read: In India, over 32 crore students hit by Covid-19 as schools and colleges are shut: UNESCO

‘All safety measures in place’

The CBSE lawyer told the bench that the notification to hold the exams in September is likely to be issued Friday. He assured the board will take all precautionary measures to ensure no infection is caused to students visiting the exam centre.

This year, he said, the board will set up more than 1,200 exam centres, instead of 500 as was done last year. Moreover, only 12 students as against the practice of 40 will be allowed in one classroom. A detailed scheme, he said, will be announced shortly.

The petitioners before the court are those who were placed in the compartment category, after the board declared the results on the basis of an alternate evaluation method in July this year, followed by a go-ahead by the apex court.

Give us same benefits’

Before the bench Friday, the counsel of the petitioners, Sanjay Kumar, apprised the court of the difficulties associated with the mechanism that the CBSE proposes to conduct the exam. 

He said if students who did not attempt all the papers could be promoted, then why should the petitioners be forced to take the exams during the pandemic, risking their lives.

Further, he stated the student will be at a disadvantage as all colleges and universities would have completed their admission process by September-end.

The contention raised in the petition is that it is impossible for the board to safely conduct the papers amid the pandemic. They want the CBSE’s two notifications — dated 6 and 12 August — mandating compartment examinations to be struck down.

They said their representation to the board was turned down with a vague reason. According to the response received, the board said if the exams are cancelled, then the future of “other Class 10 and 12” students shall be affected.

Also read: Separate rooms for Covid-positive aspirants among govt steps to smoothly pull off NEET-JEE


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