The Supreme Court has agreed to a scheme proposed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to assess the final performance of students in their Classes X and XII exams.
The CBSE and ICSE had cancelled the remaining exams scheduled between July 1 and 15 to protect the students from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Appearing before a Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for CBSE and the Union government, informed that the Board would upload all the details about the assessment scheme on its website in an hour.
According to the notified scheme, the marks of Classes X and XII students who have completed their exams would be based on their performance. In the case of those who have completed exams in more than three subjects, the average marks in their best three performing subjects would be taken for assessing the scores for the cancelled July exams.
If students have appeared for only three exams so far, the average of the best two subjects would be taken for assessing the exams missed out in July. In a few cases like in Delhi, if students have appeared in one or two subjects, the average of these marks plus their internal and practical scores would be used for the assessment.
Assessment results would be out by July 15. The assessment results would be treated as final for Class X.
However, Class XII students can choose to appear for “optional examinations” to be held in future for the subjects for which the exams were cancelled.
These optional exams would be held when the health situation is “more conducive”. The optional exams would be held only for Class XII students and not for their Class X counterparts.
The ICSE, represented by senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, which has also cancelled the remaining Classes X and XII exams, said its separate assessment scheme for the cancelled scheme would be “slightly different” from that of the CBSE. Mr. Gupta informed the court that its scheme would be uploaded in a week in its website.
Mr. Gupta said, unlike the CBSE, the ICSE may give the Class X students an option to sit for betterment exams in the future along with their Class XII counterparts.
Parents, who are petitioners in the case and represented by advocate Rishi Malhotra, said a time limit should be specified for the Class XII CBSE students to decide whether they want to appear in the optional exams.
Mr. Malhotra suggested that students should specify within 15 days of the declaration of the assessment results whether they want to appear in the optional examinations.
“The option has to be exercised by the student within 15 days, otherwise this will lead to further litigation. They have to conduct the exam within a certain period, say within 15 days of declaration of results. This would bind the students to take a call within a period,” Mr. Malhotra submitted.
To this, Mr. Mehta countered, “Suppose the situation gets conducive in October. Then, let the students decide in September. Why 15 days? Why put pressure on them to take a decision… What we do must be pro student”.
The court agreed with the Solicitor General, saying “Whenever the CBSE decides to conduct the exam, it will be notified and the dates will come in that notification”.