There will be no exams this year for CBSE Class 12 students due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday. The decision, he said, was taken in the interest of students.
"Health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said. "Anxiety among students, parents and teachers, which must be put to an end...Students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation. All stakeholders need to show sensitivity for students," it said.
Government of India has decided to cancel the Class XII CBSE Board Exams. After extensive consultations, we have taken a decision that is student-friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as future of our youth. https://t.co/vzl6ahY1O2— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 1, 2021
Within minutes of the decision on CBSE, it was informed that the Council for Indian School Certificate, too, had called off its Class 12 Board Exams for this year.
The Prime Minister's decision came at the end of a key meeting held on Tuesday on the matter. The meeting was attended by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Chairman Manoj Ahuja, besides other officials.
CBSE will now take steps to compile the results of Class 12 students according to per well-defined objective criteria in a time-bound manner, according to the PMO.
"It is decided that any student who is not satisfied with the assessment, an option to appear in the examination would be provided by CBSE as and when the situation becomes conducive," a CBSE release said.
Congratulations, students of class 12 for making your voices heard. After all the uncertainty and stress, you deserve to relax and celebrate today!— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) June 1, 2021
All the best for a happy, healthy and bright future ahead.#cbseboardexams
The decision to do away with the exam this year comes two days ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the matter, during which the Centre is expected to file its reply on a plea seeking exactly this. The court had, on May 31, adjourned the hearing to June 3 after the Centre sought time to take a decision.
Earlier, during a May 23 meeting, CBSE had proposed holding the exam between July 15 and August 26. It also put forth two options: regular exams in 19 major subjects at notified centres and shorter-duration exams at schools where the students are enrolled.
A majority of the states expressed their opinion in favour of holding the exam, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had said following that meeting.
Welcoming the CBSE's decision taken on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said it is an important step taken in the direction of safe health students across the country. "Heartfelt gratitude of all students and guardians towards the respected Prime Minister," he said in a tweet.
Uttar Pradesh had earlier cancelled the state board's Class X exams and proposed to hold the Class XII exams in the second week of July.