Optional exams in Aug, Sep only for main subjects’: CBSE tells SC

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will have a Committee to resolve grievances of students upset over the marks awarded under the tabulation scheme for Class 12 students and the option to write exams for interested candidates will tentatively be held within a month from August 15 depending on the conditions being conducive for holding an offline examination, as stated by the Board in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Sunday.

The affidavit, filed through advocate Rupesh Kumar, said, “Regarding the date before which the optional examination for the candidates who are not satisfied with their assessment with the policy, the examinations for such candidates shall be conducted any time between August 15 to September 15, subject to conducive situation.” Even the Private/ Patrachar/2nd chance compartment candidates would have to appear in the offline exams to be conducted during the same period, the Board informed.

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari will take up the affidavit on Tuesday as some petitions that have challenged the tabulation scheme of CBSE and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) could not be listed on Monday.

Last week, when the CBSE, CIISCE submitted their tabulation schemes to Court, it was found wanting on two fronts – lack of dispute resolution mechanism and clear dates for results and holding of optional exams.

The CISCE informed the Supreme Court that it wishes to hold the optional exams before September 1 subject to conducive conditions. On the issue of settlement of grievances, the CISCE informed the Court about an inbuilt provision in its scheme allowing candidates to submit complaints to their respective schools that would then be forwarded to CISCE within a week.

The CBSE also stated in its affidavit that all disputes regarding the computation of results will be referred to a committee formed by the Board. This has been made part of the tabulation scheme as well. In addition, the CBSE scheme provides that any candidate who wishes to appear in the optional offline examination will have the facility of registering online.

As and when conditions are conducive, the Board will hold physical examination limited to the main subject papers. The marks obtained in this examination shall be treated as final.

Last week, the CBSE came out with its scheme for tabulating marks of Class 12 students on a 30:30:40 formula that took the best of three subject marks of Class X boards (30 per cent), followed by annual results of Class 11 (30 per cent), and pre-boards or internal assessment conducted during Class 12 (40 per cent). The scheme was to apply to nearly 14.5 lakh students across the country.

The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination’s (CISCE) scheme took into account the best performance of the student in Class 11 and 12 based on examinations conducted and practical/projects with less emphasis on Class 10 board results.

An application moved by UP Parents Association was in favour of holding the examination and criticized the schemes formulated by the boards. In the case of CISCE, the bench was told that the marks to be obtained from schools have been deposited with CISCE but with regard to CBSE, there was scope for manipulation.

As per CBSE scheme, a result committee of every school will tabulate marks based on the tabulation scheme and submit results to CBSE. The committee will comprise the principal, two senior-most faculty teaching Class 12 and two senior-most teachers from neighbouring schools.

The CBSE scheme even provided for rationalization standards by which the results submitted by a school have to be moderated in terms of the school’s best performance in the past three years. Any student securing more than the highest marks attained by students of the same school will be awarded two marks more than the best performing score of the school in the past three years.

The Court also listed for Tuesday an application filed by three private/compartment candidates who have demanded an assessment scheme similar to regular students. The CBSE has been firm that examinations for such candidates shall be conducted in such a manner so that they fall within the assessment policy for the academic year 2019-2020 evolved by it last year.

The candidates, hailing from Odisha, Tripura and Delhi claimed to have the support of 1149 Class 10 and 12 compartment/private candidates across the country.

Another petition challenging Class 12 state board examinations will also be heard by the same bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari.

Last week, a petition filed by a group of parents claimed that 18 states had cancelled exams except for Assam, Karnataka, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh informed the Court that it will conduct the state board examinations for Class 12 while the remaining three states conveyed their decision to cancel the examinations. Even the Kerala government has been asked to respond to its decision to hold offline examinations for Class 11, considered crucial for admission to undergraduate courses.

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