The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the case regarding the cancellation of Class 12 board exams to Monday, i.e May 31. The bench comprises Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was considering a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Mamta Sharma who asked for directions to the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to cancel the class 12th CBSE and ICSE examinations.
The bench adjourned the matter after noticing that the petitioner has not served an advanced copy on the standing counsel for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Hence, the highest court has asked the petitioner to serve an advanced copy to respondents on the CBSE counsel and listed the matter on May 31, 2021, at 11:00 AM.
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed during the short hearing that CBSE is likely to take a final decision on the matter on June 1. The bench told the counsel “Please be optimistic. There might be some resolution by Monday.”
The plea as filed by Advocate Mamta Sharma has argued that in view of the unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of the Covid -19 cases in the country, it is not feasible to conduct the examinations either offline/online. Furthermore, delays in the examination will cause irreparable loss to the students as this is the time for them to apply for admission in higher education courses in foreign universities. The plea reads “As per the UNESCO statistics for the year 2018 around 7.3 lakh students had opted for foreign universities to pursue higher education. Delay in the declaration of their result will hamper one semester of the aspiring students as admission cannot be confirmed until the students provide these universities with their Class XII result”.
More than 7000 parents also moved to the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of the Class 12 Board exams amid this Covid-19 pandemic situation. However, a final decision regarding the conduct of the CBSE exams is expected to be announced on June 1. As per the high-level meeting conducted on May 23, the state governments have submitted their detailed suggestions regarding the 12th board exams on the same by May 25, 2021.
As per some media reports, it is suggested that the CBSE class 12 exams board exams might be held for a duration of time for only major subjects. It is speculated that even conducting 30-minute exams are in favor in which students would get objective questions on their respective subjects. However, no official confirmation regarding this has been made by the education minister yet.
In a meeting between the different education ministers, it was decided that the CBSE board exam 2021 can be held between July 15 and August 26 amidst all Covid-19 safety protocols. In line with this, CBSE proposed two options, that is, either conduct exams for the main 19 subjects only and at notified exam centers or to hold the exams for the 90-minute duration for all subjects at the home schools of students.