The pending class 10 and 12 board exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which were postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, will now be conducted from July 1 to 15, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced on Friday.
The schedule has been decided in order to ensure that the exams are completed before competitive examinations such as engineering entrance JEE-Mains, scheduled from July 18-23, and medical entrance exam NEET on July 26.
The CBSE has not yet notified the exam schedule. The board is also yet to announce the modalities for assessment of the exams that will not be conducted as well as guidelines for examination centres to ensure social distancing.
"The students have been impatiently waiting for the schedule for pending exams. It has been decided today that the exams will be conducted from July 1 to 15," said Pokhriyal.
While class 12 exams will be conducted across the country, the class 10 exams are only pending in North East Delhi where they were affected due to the law and order situation.
The board had last month announced it will only conduct pending exams in 29 subjects which are crucial for promotion and admission to higher educational institutions.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed and exams postponed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which has now been extended till May 17.
"The board was not able to conduct exams for class 10 and 12 on eight examination days due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Further, due to the law and order situation in North East Delhi, the board was not able to conduct exams on four examination days, while a very small number of students from and around this district were not able to appear in exams on six days," a senior CBSE official said.
"A detailed schedule is expected to be announced by next week," the official said, adding the board is also working on resuming the evaluation of answer scripts, which was stopped in March due to the nationwide lockdown.
Pokhriyal had last month also directed that evaluation be started for the already conducted board exams and appealed states to facilitate the same.
One of the options being considered is to deliver the answer scripts to the examiners at home, however, no final decision has been announced yet.
The results for the 29 Class 12 exams will most likely be announced by August-end, before the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) declare the merit list for JEE Advanced.
The IIT Counselling process hinges on when CBSE and respective state boards announce results for the class 12 board exams. To seek admission to one of the IITs, aspirants who have cleared JEE Advanced should have also secured at least 75% marks in their board exams. JEE-Advanced has been scheduled on August 23.