Supreme Court upholds CBSE, ICSE assessment scheme for Class 12, dismisses pleas challenging cancellation of board exams


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions challenging the decision taken by the CBSE and ICSE to cancel the Class 12 board examinations. The top court also upheld the assessment scheme brought out by the boards to evaluate the students’ examination pattern. 

The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari dismissed a bunch of petitions which challenged the cancellation of exams saying that the decision was “well-informed” and was taken at the “highest level” to protect the welfare of over 20 lakh students.

“We hold that there is no need to interfere with the scheme propounded by CBSE and ICSE. It takes into account concerns of all students,’’ the top court bench said.

The bench held that there is no reason to interfere with the schemes of CBSE and ICSE, as they were “fair and reasonable and takes into account the concerns of all students and are in the larger public interest”. 

The bench also did not appreciate the submissions made by a private school teacher Anshul Gupta, who was appearing as party-in-person, who wanted the examinations to be held. The bench observed that they were decisions taken by the experts in the field, on which there cannot be a “second guess” by the judiciary.

It is to be noted that on Monday, the top court had said that even though it has agreed with the evaluation scheme, it will hear the petitioners before suggesting any changes in it.

The Supreme Court had on June 17 given in-principle clearance to the schemes submitted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to assess the final marks of Class 12 students whose Board exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBSE has divided the marks’ assessment process into two components, theory and practical. The scheme submitted by CBSE will assess students based on their performance not just in Class 12 but also in Class 10 and Class 11.

CBSE said it will evaluate class 12 students for theory based on 30 per cent mars in best three subjects in Class 10, 30 per cent weightage to Class 11 performance and 40 per cent to Class 12 performance. The assessment for Class 12 will be based on unit tests, mid-term exam and pre-boards results. It said the marks obtained by class 12 students in practical and internal assessment on an actual basis as uploaded by schools on CBSE Portal will be also considered in deciding final results.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said however that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance in class 10, 11 and 12 exams, in finalising the final board results.

Both the boards said they would declare the results on or before July 31. The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), in its assessment scheme, referred to components to be evaluated and the weightage in percentage to arrive at final results.

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