New Delhi, June 26: The Supreme Court has accepted a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) scheme where students of class 10 and 12 will be assessed for the exams cancelled due to the pandemic by taking an average of their best performance in the papers they have already taken.

The cancelled exams were originally scheduled between July 1 and 15. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for CBSE, said the assessment scheme is available on the official website, The Hindu reported.

“Assessment of the performance of students in the cancelled examinations will be done based on the assessment scheme,” a three-judge Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar referred to the CBSE notification in a 10-page order.

The Bench said its order and the notification will govern “any petition pending in this court or any other court concerning the subject of conducting examinations for classes 10 and 12 by the CBSE scheduled from July 1 to July 15”.

The ICSE, represented by senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, said it will have a “slightly different” assessment scheme from that of the CBSE. The ICSE had also cancelled its exams scheduled between July 1 and 14. Mr. Gupta informed the court that its scheme would be available on its website in a week.

According to the CBSE scheme, students of Class X and XII who have completed their exams would be assessed on their performance. Those who have taken the exam in more than three subjects will be assessed after the average in their three best performing subjects is taken to assess their scores for the cancelled papers. If students have appeared for only three exams so far, the average of the best two subjects would be taken as their scores in the cancelled papers. In a few cases such as Delhi, if students have appeared in one or two subjects, the average of these marks along with their internal and practical scores would be used for assessment. Assessment results would be out by July 15.

The assessment results would be treated as final for class 10. However, class 12 students can choose to appear for “optional examinations” to be held in future for the exams that were cancelled. These optional exams would be held when the health situation is “more conducive”.

However, unlike CBSE, Mr. Gupta said the ICSE may allow its class 10 students to appear for an optional exams like their class 12 counterparts.

Parents, who are the petitioners in this case and represented by advocate Rishi Malhotra, said a time limit should be specified for the class 12 CBSE students to decide whether they want to appear in the optional exams.

Mr. Malhotra suggested that students should specify within 15 days of the declaration of the assessment results whether they want to appear in the optional examinations.

“The option has to be exercised by the student within 15 days, otherwise this will lead to further litigation They have to conduct the exam within a certain period, say within 15 days of declaration of results. This would be bind the students to take a call within a period,” Mr. Malhotra submitted.

To this, Mr. Mehta countered, “suppose the situation gets conducive in October. Then, let the students decide in September. Why 15 days? Why put pressure on them to take a decision… What we do must be pro student”.

The court agreed with the Solicitor General, saying “whenever the CBSE decides to conduct the optional exam, it will be notified and the dates will come in that notification”.

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