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Decision on scrapping July exams likely by Wednesday, CBSE tells SC

Central Board of Secondary Education

New Delhi, June 24 (UITV/IANS) The CBSE has informed the Supreme Court that it will take a decision on holding of remaining Board exams in July latest by Wednesday evening since discussions on the issue were at an advanced stage.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, contended before a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna that both the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Centre understand the students' anxiety in connection with examination schedule.

Mehta said that since discussions on the remaining exams is at an advanced stage, urging the top court to adjourn the matter for a day. After the brief hearing, court fixed the next hearing on July 25.

Meanwhile, the top court also took up another plea that sought directions to scrap the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE) examination in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.

ICSE's counsel informed the court that it will follow the Centre's decision on CBSE exams.

However, the bench noted that the ICSE can take a decision after considering the ongoing situation.

Mehta argued that the decision on the CBSE would not be binding on the ICSE.

The parents' of students appearing in CBSE Board exams had moved the top court, arguing that the decision on the schedule of exams in July demonstrated the extent of CBSE's discriminatory and arbitrary conduct in issuing the notification for holding of the remaining examinations.

The parents cited that as per AIIMS, the COVID-19 pandemic would be at its peak in July.

The petitioners urged the apex court to direct the CBSE to declare the results on the basis of examination already conducted along with an average of internal assessment marks in the remaining subjects/papers, and also stay the decision to recommence the examinations from July 1.

The petition said that on May 25, the Human Resource Development Ministry had announced exams for Class X and XII at almost 15,000 exam centres as against 3,000 centres earlier.

"Ensuring proper cleanliness and safety standards as prescribed by the government in COVID-19 situation in those 15,000 exam centres spread across the length and breadth of the country, including rural sectors, would not only be risking health and lives of children but also be an exercise in futility and an eyewash," said the petition.

In the ICSE matter, the Bombay High Court had on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to clarify its stand on the examination schedule for Classes 10 and 12 in July.