SC refuses to interfere with CBSE, CISCE assessment scheme for evaluating Class 12 students

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the assessment scheme propounded by both CBSE and CISCE for evaluation of Class 12 students, whose board examinations have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top court rejected the objections raised by a parents’ body as well as students and said that it is not possible to have a second guess approach with regard to various aspects of the assessment scheme.

A special bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said, “We accept the scheme as propounded by both the boards-(CBSE and CISCE)”.

The bench also noted the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal, assisting the court in individual capacity and also appearing for the Centre, that University Grants Commission (UGC) will issue directives to all the colleges and varsities that admissions be made after the declaration of results by all the boards — CBSE, CISCE and state boards.

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The top court, which dealt with all the major objections of the interveners — Uttar Pradesh Parents’ Association, and second compartment and private students — said the scheme propounded cannot be doubted on the mere apprehension of manipulation of marks by the CBSE schools to favour their own students.

The bench rejected the submission of senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for UP Parents Association, Lucknow, that option to students for external examination as given in the CBSE’s scheme should be offered at the very initial stage to both the school and the students and the results should be declared together.

It said that after hearing the views of Venugopal, “We are of the view that this suggestion cannot be taken forward.

This would result in denial of an option to the students and also result in increasing the uncertainty until the exam of improvisation is conducted and the results are declared”.

The bench said that if students are given the option of internal assessment then as per the schemes, their results will be declared by July 31 and thereafter they can opt for improvisation, if their marks are less.

Therefore, the suggestions given cannot be accepted, the bench said, adding that the boards have taken a conscious decision to cancel the class 12 exams, which is in larger public interest.

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It said that on the suggestion that the results (of both physical examination and internal assessment) be declared on the same date to avoid students missing the opportunity in admissions to colleges, the Attorney General has made statement on instructions that UGC will direct all universities to complete the process of admissions after declaration of results by all the boards.

“In view of the above we hold that there is no reason to interfere with the scheme propounded by CBSE and CICSE,” the bench said, adding that the schemes take into account the concerns of all sets of students.

With regard to compartment and private students, the bench said that they will be allowed to take the physical examination to be held by CBSE in between August 15 and September 15, 2021.

On Monday, the top court had asked the CBSE and the CISCE to respond to the concerns raised by some students and parents on the schemes of both the boards formulated to evaluate Class 12 students.

The UP parents’ association and the students have flagged several concerns with regard to the CBSE and ICSE schemes for evaluation for Class 12 results and said that many clauses are arbitrary and would be detrimental to future prospects of the students.

Earlier, the CBSE and CISCE boards told the Supreme Court that class 12 board examination results would be declared by July 31 and the students, desirous of taking up the board examination physically of CBSE can do so between August 15 and September 15, subject to conducive pandemic situation.

The CISCE has said its students can take improvement examinations which may commence from September 1, subject to the situation remaining conducive.

The apex court was told by both Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CICSE) that they have amended their respective evaluation scheme to assess Class 12 students and incorporated a dispute resolution mechanism for the candidates who have any objections with regard to the results.