In a major move on Wednesday, May 20, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the Class 10 and 12 Board exams to be conducted by granting an exemption from the nationwide lockdown measures. This was announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Twitter. Since the commencement of the lockdown from March 25, all educational institutions across the country including schools have been shut. The Centre had received requests from the state governments and the CBSE for allowing them to conduct the pending examinations. In view of the “academic interest” of a large number of students, this demand was acceded to.
Taking into consideration the academic interest of large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct Board examination for classes 10th & 12th, with few conditions like social distancing, face mask etc, for their safety. pic.twitter.com/P4ULsmbPVv— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 20, 2020
At the same time, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter addressed to all the Chief Secretaries made it clear that the examinations will be held subject to certain conditions. For instance, no examination centre will be permitted in a containment zone. Wearing of a mask by teachers, students and staff shall be compulsory. Thermal screening and sanitizer must be provided at the centres besides maintaining social distancing. The MHA also directed that the examination schedule of different Boards should be staggered. Moreover, the states and the Union Territories have been permitted to run special buses for the transportation of students to the examination centres.
Currently, there are 1,06,750 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 42,298 patients have been discharged while 3,303 casualties have been reported. As per the new guidelines issued by the MHA for the 4th phase of the lockdown, educational institutions have been allowed to impart distance learning while remaining closed. Some state governments such as Maharashtra had already cancelled the remaining state Board exams for Class 10. On May 18, the CBSE released the exam timetable for Class 10 and Class 12. Only the students of North-East Delhi shall give the Class 10 exam papers whereas the pending Class 12 exams would be conducted for students across India. On this occasion, HRD Minister Dr.Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank extended his best wishes to the students.