Over Tuesday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 2, the CBSE, ICSE, and several State boards announced the cancellation of the Class XII board examinations which were earlier planned to be held later than the usual time of examination in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, June 1, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cancelled the class XII board examinations after a high-level meeting took place which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even though the exams have been called off, an option to take the exams for those who are willing to will be provided by the CBSE.
The PMO’s official statement released after the conclusion was reached in the meeting said, “It was also decided that like last year, in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by the CBSE, as and when the situation becomes conducive.” The PMO statement also added how the PM expressed his appreciation for a student-friendly conclusion which was reached through a discussion and opinions of all the stakeholders. PM Modi also thanked the States to provide suggestions regarding the issue.
The meeting was joined by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Senior officials like the Secretary of School Education and Higher Education were also present.
Soon after the CBSE announced the cancellation, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) class XII board examinations were also called off. Both the boards reached this conclusion just a day after the hearing of the plea filed in the Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of both CBSE and ICSE class XII board examinations was adjourned till Thursday as the Centre had requested time to make a final call. The plea was filed by Advocate Mamta Sharma.
After the Centre’s decision was announced, students affiliated with their respective State boards of education have started asking for a cancellation of their exams as well. While the Karnataka Government had earlier rigidly decided that the board examinations would not be cancelled and would rather be held in July and August. However, after the mounting pressure from the students, especially after the Centre’s decision, the Karnataka Government will now reconsider its decision and will make the final call very soon.
Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra, after the Central Government’s announcement, informed everyone that the Rajasthan State Government would make the final announcement over the class X and XII examinations, on Wednesday, 2 June after a meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The Uttar Pradesh Education Minister, Dinesh Sharma, has also announced that a detailed discussion in a meeting to be held with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would take place and the final decision would be announced following it. While the UP Board had cancelled the class X examinations, the class XII examinations are scheduled to be held in July.
On the other hand, the West Bengal Government has put the decision on hold for a few days and an expert committee has been formed to conclude. The committee was formed on June 2 and was expected to submit a report within 72 hours. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier announced that the Class XII exams would be held during July-end and the class X examinations would take place in the second week of August. And Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on June 2 said, “The State Government will go through decisions taken by other States and also consult the Union Education Ministry before taking a call on class XII Goa Board exams by Wednesday evening.”
The Madhya Pradesh Government too, on June 2, cancelled the class XII MPBSE (Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education) examinations, after the education department in the State ministry organized an important meeting. The Minister of Madhya Pradesh School Education and other officers of the department attended the meeting. Other State Governments like Haryana and Gujarat have also cancelled their State Board examinations. The Tamil Nadu Government is set to take the final call by June 4.
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