New Delhi: The pending class 10 and 12 board exams will be conducted by CBSE at 15,000 centres across the country instead of 3,000 centres planned earlier, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' announced on Monday.
The exams, which were postponed due to a nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19, will now be held from July 1 to 15.
"The class 10, 12 exams will now be conducted at over 15,000 exam centres across India. Earlier, CBSE was slated to hold exams at only 3,000 centres," Nishank said.
The decision has been taken to ensure social distancing at exam centres and minimise travel for students.
The HRD ministry has already announced that students will appear for exams at schools in which they are enrolled rather than external examination centres.
According to home ministry guidelines, there will be no exam centre in COVID-19 containment zones and states will be responsible for making transport arrangements for students to reach their respective centres.
Usually, board examinations are held at designated test centres to ensure minimum bias from schools and enable independent external invigilators to monitor the examination process.
While Class 12 exams will be conducted across the country, the Class 10 exams are only pending in North East Delhi, where they could not be held due to the law-and-order situation in the wake of protests against the amended citizenship act.
The CBSE class 10 and 12 board exam evaluation is being carried out from home. The HRD ministry had earmarked 3,000 evaluation centres from where answer sheets would be distributed to teachers at their homes for evaluation and then collected.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day. It has now been extended till May 31. The board was not able to conduct class 10 and 12 exams on eight examination days due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to the law-and-order situation in North East Delhi, CBSE 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.
The board had last month announced that it will only conduct pending exams in 29 subjects which are crucial for promotion and admission to higher educational institutions.
The modalities of assessment for the subjects for which exams are not being conducted will be announced soon by the board.
The schedule has been decided in order to ensure that the board exams are completed before competitive examinations such as engineering entrance JEE-Mains, which is scheduled from July 18-23 and medical entrance exam NEET that will be held on July 26.