The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday allowed the conduct of board exams for Classes 10 and 12. The decision was taken after several states and central boards such as CBSE petitioned the government.
In a letter sent to the states, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “Taking into consideration the interest of a large number of students it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures for the conduct of Board Exams for Classes 10th and 12th.”
Home Minister Amit Shah too announced this in a tweet, adding this permission was being given “with few conditions like social distancing, face mask etc, for their safety.”
As opening of schools had been prohibited under the guidelines on lockdown measures, the annual board examinations being conducted by State Education Boards/ CBSE/ ICSE etc. for Classes 10 and 12 had been suspended.
“Requests were received from State Governments and CBSE for conducting the Board examinations,” Bhalla’s letter said.
MHA’s clarification came a day after the High Court of Bombay at Goa sought an urgent reply from the government on whether its order on lockdown extension prohibits holding board exams.
The clarification comes as a shot in arm for state governments whose decision to conduct remaining Board exams had met with resistance.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Goa, are among the states where board examinations had to be abandoned midway because of the nationwide lockdown imposed in the last week of March. Among them, Goa will the be first state to hold its Class 10 exam. The Bombay High Court at Goa allowed the state government to go ahead with the SSC exam from Thursday after the MHA’s clarification.
Spelling out the conditions for allowing conduct of exams, the letter has said that stated must ensure there are no examination centres in containment zones, there are provisions of thermal screening and sanitisers at the centres, and social distancing at all examination centres.
“In view of the examinations to be conducted by different boards, their examination schedules should be staggered. Special buses may be arranged by the States and UTs for transportation of the students to the examination centres,” the letter has said.
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