The education ministry on Wednesday asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and all educational institutions in the country to postpone exams till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
"While maintenance of academic calendar and exam schedule is important, equally important is safety and security of students who are appearing in various examinations as also of their teachers and parents," HRD secretary Amit Khare said in an official communication.
"All the ongoing examinations, including CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) board exams, be postponed till March 31 and rescheduled thereafter," he added.
Besides Class 10 and 12 of exams for CBSE-affiliated schools, the order also applies to exams organised by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main) and all autonomous organisations under the education ministry.
MHRD issues directions to UGC, AICTE, NTA, NIOS, CBSE , NCTE and all autonomous organisations under it for the postponement of all examinations till 31st March, 2020 as a precautionary measure in the wake of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)#FightCOVID19— PIB-HRD (@PIBHRD) March 18, 2020
However, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE) board exams for Classes 10 and 12 have not been postponed, an official told news agency PTI.
"The exams have not been postponed and will be held as per schedule as of now," board chief executive and secretary Gerry Arathoon told PTI.
The announcements were made amid increasing curbs across the country as the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 151 in the country on Wednesday.
While there were 14 fresh cases of coronavirus cases reported since Tuesday, the first case in the Indian Army prompted the armed forces to further strengthen their check and prevention mechanism by taking additional steps, including checking soldiers for flu symptoms on their return from leave, and cancelling non-essential travel and conferences.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday, will address the nation on Thursday evening on the coronavirus outbreak and ways to contain it, his office said.
With most of the schools and colleges shut down, the Human Resource Development Ministry announced that it will launch e-classes on Swayam Prabha DTH channels for school students.