June 24, 2021 7:48:07 pm
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all the state boards to declare results of the internal assessment of class 12 examination by July 31, making it clear that each board is free to formulate its own evaluation method for students and there can’t be a “fit-all” scheme.
The apex court, which said it would not pass any direction for a uniform assessment scheme across the country for students whose board exams have been cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, directed the state boards to ensure that schemes are formulated and notified at the earliest and not later than 10 days from Thursday.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari observed that each board is autonomous and they will have to evolve their own scheme for assessment.
“We direct all the state boards to ensure that the schemes are formulated and notified at the earliest and not later than 10 days from today and also declare the results of the internal assessment by July 31, 2021, which is the time-line specified for CBSE and ICSE boards in terms of our order dated June 22,” the bench said in its order.
The top court was hearing a plea that has sought directions to the states not to hold board exams because of the pandemic. The bench noted in its order, that counsel appearing for Haryana has submitted that a clarification be issued that respective boards were free to formulate their own schemes being autonomous and independent bodies.
“We have no difficulty in acceding to this submission,” the bench said, adding, “In other words, we make it clear that each board may formulate its own scheme. However, we further make it clear that we are not endorsing the correctness and validity of the proposed schemes, to be so formulated by the concerned boards. That will be considered on its own merits, if and when the occasion arises.”
It noted that Assam has filed an affidavit saying that class 10 and 12 examinations have been cancelled and the scheme is being formulated by the concerned boards for allocation of internal assessment marks. “That be done expeditiously. In addition, the scheme must provide for a proper mechanism for redressal of dispute or grievance of the students after the declaration of results, as has been done in the case of CBSE and ICSE boards,” the bench said.
It also noted that the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has cancelled the board exams and is in the process of formulating the scheme for assessment. During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the bench was informed by an advocate appearing in the matter that state boards that have cancelled the class 12 exams may be asked to have a uniform scheme for assessing students.
“That may not be acceptable because every state board has their own scheme. It cannot be uniform. We are not going to direct for a uniform scheme. Each board will have to evolve their own scheme,” the bench said. It said state boards have experts to advise them and there cannot be a uniform all India scheme for this.
“There cannot be a fit-all scheme,” the bench observed, adding, “We have made it clear that each board is autonomous and they will have their own scheme.”
The counsel appearing for the Haryana school education board told the bench that the petitioner is seeking a uniform formula for assessment. “That we have already made it clear that each board can have their own scheme,” the bench said.
On June 22, the apex court had refused to interfere with the assessment scheme propounded by both the CBSE and CISCE for evaluation of class 12 students, whose board examinations have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The top court had rejected the objections raised by a parents’ body as well as students and said that it is not possible to have a second guess approach with regard to various aspects of the assessment scheme.
The apex court was earlier informed by the Assam and Tripura governments that they have cancelled their state boards of the class 12 exam due to the pandemic. On June 17, the top court was informed that out of 28 states, six states have already conducted the board exams, 18 states have cancelled them, but four states (Assam, Punjab, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh) have not cancelled them as of now.
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