CBSE Class XII exams put off, Class X tests cancelled amid COVID surge

Minister says the Class X exam results will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board

Exam hall
A total of 7,72,771 candidates appeared for the board examinations this year, of which 5,03,726 passed it. Representative Photo: PTI

The Central government on Wednesday (April 14) announced that Class XII CBSE exams have been deferred and Class X exams have been cancelled. The announcement came after a meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi held with Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, education secretary and other officials.

The Central Board of Secondary Education exams for Class 12, which were to be held from May 4 to June 14, have been postponed, said Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in tweets. A decision would be taken on them on June 1, he said, adding that students will have at least 15-day prior notice before the exams.

For Class 10, officials have decided to promote the students on basis of internal assessment. The minister said the Class X exam results will be prepared “on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board” and any student not satisfied with their marks would be given the chance to take the exam when conditions would allow them.

The decision on the CBSE exams came on a day when the country registered 1,84,372 fresh COVID cases while active cases surpassed the 13-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data.


PM Modi said in the meeting that “the well-being of students has to be the top priority for the government”, said a statement.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Union Education Ministry said, “Looking to the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, and also taking into account the safety and well-being of the students, it is decided as follows. The Board Exams for Class 12 to be held from May 4 to June 14, 2021, are hereby postponed. These exams will be held hereafter.”

About 35 lakh students had registered for the exams — 21.5 lakh students for class X exams and 14 lakh for class XII exams.

According to officials, the education minister has asked states to follow Centre’s decision on board exams.

Also read: ‘Your health is our priority’: Maharashtra postpones Class 10, 12 board exams

The decision comes amid demand from various states to postpone the CBSE exams. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had urged the Centre to cancel the exams in the face of rising COVID cases.

Many states have also decided to to cancel or postpone the exams conducted by their respective boards.

Maharashtra postpones exams

The Maharashtra government on Monday (April 12) decided to postpone state board exams for class 10th and 12th. State Education Minister said Varsha Gaikwad said, “We’ve postponed state board exams for class 10th and 12th. Class 12th exams will be held by end of May, while 10th standard exams will be in June. Fresh dates will be announced accordingly.”

Exams on in Kerala

In Kerala, state board exams began in April 8 and will continue till April 29. The SSLC, Plus two and vocational higher secondary exams are being conducted. Kerala conducted board exams in 2020 as well. Students are provided with sanitizer and masks. It is mandatory for the invigilators to wear gloves .

“We are keeping the protocol up to the best of our capacity. Only students are allowed to sit while maintaining social distancing,” said a higher secondary teacher who is invigilating the examination. The methodology of the exams has been made more flexible by giving 100 per cent choice. For instance, in an exam of 60 marks , the students are given questions for 120 marks. “We need to give a liberal choice this time, as many schools might not have completed the syllabus. As the entire academic year was conducted online, we have to take such a lenient view,” said the teacher.

The SSLC examination was initially scheduled in March (from 17 to 30) but were put off in view of the Assembly election. Around nine lakh students are appearing for the examination across 4,591 centers. As many as 4.46 lakh students appear for higher secondary examination and 4.23 lakh for SSLC exams.

Uttar Pradesh revises dates

In Uttar Pradesh, the Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad has revised the board exams dates for Class 10 and Class 12 final exams. As per the revised UP board time table 2021, Class 10 final exams will be held between May 8 and May 25, 2021, in two shifts. The morning shift exams will be conducted from 8 am to 11:15 pm and afternoon shift exams will be held from 2 pm to 5:15 pm.

Other states

However, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have postponed their Board exams.

Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has released the revised Class X and Class XII date sheets on its official website.

While announcing the revision for exams dates of Chhattisgarh board exams, Chief Minister’s Office said: “Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, Raipur, has postponed the board exams starting from April 15, 2021, for class 10th, keeping in mind the growing transition of Corona in the state and lockdown in many districts.”

Also read: Amid uncertainty over board exams, schools conduct pre-boards online

The India Wide Parents Association had said that since teachers and students had not been inoculated against the pandemic and that there was a greater chance of infection among them, the exams should be cancelled. Over a lakh students recently signed petitions urging the government to either cancel board exams or conduct them online.