Coronavirus: Govt asks CBSE, varsities to postpone exams for 10 days

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

Updated: March 19, 2020 11:02:59 am

Following the order, CBSE has postponed board examinations scheduled between March 19 and 31. (Representational Image)

The Union government on Wednesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS) and all institutions of higher education to postpone ongoing examinations for ten days following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Following the order, CBSE has postponed board examinations scheduled between March 19 and 31. This includes re-examination for students in Northeast Delhi affected by the recent riots. The Board will announce a new exam schedule by the end of the month after a “re-assessment of the situation”.

Read | List of all exams postponed due to coronavirus

The National Testing Agency (NTA), too, put the JEE (Main), scheduled to be held on April 5, 7,8 and 9, on hold. “We will announce fresh dates soon,” NTA Chief Vineet Joshi told The Indian Express. The JEE (Main) is the entrance examination for admission to National Institutes of Technology.

According to a senior official in the HRD Ministry, the Wednesday order is binding on all institutions of higher education, irrespective of whether they are run by private management, the Centre or state government. “UGC will issue an order tomorrow (March 19) to this effect,” the officer said.

The HRD Ministry has also requested state governments to reschedule the ongoing state board examinations for Class X and XII students. “For now, Uttar Pradesh has put all examinations on hold till April 2. Other state governments will take a call on our request after approval from authorities concerned,” the officer added.

However, the ICSE and ISC Board examinations will go on as per schedule.

The Chief Executive and Secretary of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE), Gerry Arathoon, told The Indian Express, “We haven’t received any orders from the government yet. We have eight papers left for the Class XII students and six for the Class X students, which should finish by March 31 and 30, respectively.”

Earlier in the day, CISCE had announced that all examiners would evaluate answer scripts from their respective homes. CBSE, meanwhile, has suspended evaluation work till March 31.

The HRD Ministry’s order comes in the wake of increasing cases of COVID-19 infection. The total number of reported cases has now crossed 150. There have been three COVID-19-related deaths.

The government has said that steps are being taken to ensure “safety and security” of students appearing for exams and their teachers and parents. The CBSE had already issued detailed instructions on precautions to be taken.

“Since JEE Mains may require travel by examinees to different towns and the dates may clash with rescheduled CBSE and other Board exams therefore, JEE Mains should be rescheduled and the new date of JEE Mains will be announced on 31.03.2020…,” the ministry order states.

On Wednesday, the ministry also held a meeting with State Open Universities to plan for all higher education institutions to move classes online till they are closed.

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