December 5, 2021

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Notify assessment scheme for Class 12 in 10 days: SC to state boards

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the state boards to notify their respective assessment schemes for Class 12 students within 10 days, after the cancellation of physical examination, and also declare results before July 31.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said: “We direct all the State Boards to ensure that the Schemes are formulated and notified at the earliest and not later than 10 days from today and also declare the results of internal assessment by July 31, which is the time-line specified for CBSE and ICSE.”

In its order, the top court said: “In addition, the Scheme must provide for a proper mechanism for redressal of dispute or grievances of the students after declaration of results, as has been done in the case of CBSE and ICSE Boards.”

The bench also emphasized that as per its previous observation there is no possibility of having a uniform assessment scheme for all boards across the country. The bench said: “We are not going to direct uniform scheme, as each board is autonomous and different.”

The top court added, “However, we further make it clear that we are not endorsing the correctness and validity of the proposed Schemes, to be so formulated by the concerned Boards. That will be considered on its own merits, if and when occasion arises.”

On June 22, the Centre told the Supreme Court that there cannot be any uniform assessment policy for all board examinations, which include those of the CBSE, the ICSE and the state boards.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, representing the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that all boards are autonomous bodies, and are empowered to formulate their schemes in connection with the assessment of Class 12 students. He told the top court that the life of each student is protected by Article 21 of the Constitution, and it is not safe or prudent to have a written exam amid the ongoing pandemic. “Students cannot be compelled to take examination during the pandemic. For example, if something happens to a student, then his/her parents will sue the board,” Venugopal said.

The top court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Anubha Sahai Shrivastava seeking cancellation of state board examinations in the backdrop of Covid situation. Only, Andhra Pradesh government is emphasizing on conducting physical exams for Class 12 students. The top court has favoured internal assessment scheme over holding physical exams. During the pendency of the petition, several state boards had announced the cancellation of exams.

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