The possibility of cancellation of class 12 board exams cannot be ruled out just yet. A plea is still pending with the Supreme Court demanding the cancelation of class 12 boards. In its first hearing, the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari adjourned the matter till Monday - May 31, however, they also asked students to “please be optimistic. There may be some resolution by Monday."
Reports claim that the court told the petitioner, “What if the Centre decides in your favour?" It’s noteworthy that the government has yet to announce any final decision on the class 12 board exams and till now, the exams only stand postponed.
Recently, CISCE has asked schools to submit details of class 11 marks, as well as assessments based on exams held throughout the year. This might hint that the central board is ready to announce the results without exams as well.
While the Centre government has held meetings to decide modes of holding exams, it has not announced any decision yet. In the meeting headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh two proposals were discussed on conducting exams - one was to hold exams for limited subjects and the other to hold exams for all subjects but the duration of exams to be curtailed to 90 minutes. Most of the states have shown interest in holding exams for all subjects. However, the meeting has remained inconclusive with several states seeking cancelation of exams and announcement of results based on internal assessment. Further, the demand for vaccinating students before holding exams was also raised.
A decision on exams is unlikely till the Court announces its verdict. The court is hearing the plea just on May 31 and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had assured students to come up with the final decision by June 1.
The plea in the Supreme Court demand cancellation of class 12 exams for CISCE and CBSE board and results be declared on the basis of alternative assessment.
While both CBSE and CICSE have held exams last year too which were cancelled mid-way, the petition claims this year, the COVID-19 situation is worse. The plea said the COVID-19 situation is more severe in comparison to last year and the respondents should adopt the same criteria of assessing the class 12 students as done last year. It said the apex court may exercise its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to direct the respondents to implement the same methodology as being adopted for class 10 to declare the result and cancel the class 12 exam.
While the petition demands the cancelation of exams by the central boards, it is expected to have an impact on the state boards as well. Advocate Mamata Sharma who is fighting the case demanding the cancelation of exams while replying to queries on Twitter has said, “Hon’ble Apex Court can Suo motu (on its own motion) implead All State Boards or can direct to amend memo of parties to pass uniform directions. Will request for the same to Hon’ble Bench on Next date of hearing."
Most of the states have postponed their class 12 exams, barring Bihar Board which had conducted the board exams ahead of the second wave, no other board has held its exams. Chhattisgarh Board or CGBSE has announced to go ahead with class 12 board exams but the exams are being held in exams-from-home mode where students are allowed to take answer sheets and question papers home before holding exams.