Any decision on conduct of Class 12 exams and entrance examinations for professional courses remained inconclusive in a high-level meeting here on Sunday with further direction to states and UTs to examine the matter and send their feedback to Centre in writing by May 25.
Following the consultative meeting with the states and UTs, it was decided that the Centre will examine the suggestions received from the various state governments this week and convey further information in this regard to the students by or before June 1, the Education Ministry said.
"While a broad consensus was there, however, it was decided that states and the Union Territories may like to further examine the matter and send their feedback in writing by May 25, 2021," the Education Ministry said in a statement.
Charing the meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh requested states and UTs to submit other suggestions, if any, to the Education Ministry by May 25.
The Ministry will consider all those suggestions and take a final decision soon, he said, reiterating "the priority of the government is to conduct all the examinations in a safe and secure environment".
Union Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' also expressed commitment towards the safety and security of children as the first priority of the Central government.
The entire country has come together to ensure the safety and academic welfare of the students and smooth functioning of the education system, he said.
The Minister said that despite challenges posed by Covid-19, the government has left no stone unturned to successfully bring education to online mode, and that the homes were converted into schools.
Stressing the importance of the Class 12 board exams and the All-India Entrance exams in shaping the future and defining the careers of students, Pokhriyal said that keeping in view the present circumstances, they had earlier decided to cancel the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examinations of Class 10 and evaluate through internal assessment, but Class 12 examinations are very important in deciding the future of a student.
He said that this meeting was called to enable Central and State Boards and other examination agencies to be able to examine various options available in the present challenging circumstances through a consultation process.
Pokhriyal assured that the deliberations with all stakeholders in the meeting will help in reaching a suitable decision on exams in the interest of all the students and ensuring a bright future for the children.
The discussions were held around two themes -- board exams to be conducted for Class 12 by the CBSE and other state boards and the All-India Entrance examinations for various higher education institutions and professional courses.
"Various options regarding the methodology, process, duration and timings of the exams were discussed," the Education Ministry said.
Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, Sanjay Dhotre, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare, School Education Secretary Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry also attended the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by Chief Ministers of Jharkhand and Goa, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, and state Education Ministers and Secretaries, Chairpersons of Examination Boards , Administrators of UTs, the Chairmen of the CBSE, UGC and AICTE, Director General, NTA and several other officials.
On April 14, the CBSE had notified that Class 12 exams have been postponed and that further information with regard to the exams would be given to students by June 1.
A high-level meeting was held on May 21 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister with nine Union Ministers and senior officials to discuss about the conduct of Board exams for Class 12 and All India Entrance exams.
In view of the prevailing Covid situation, almost all the state education boards, the CBSE and the ICSE have postponed their Class 12 examinations. Similarly, the National Testing Agency (NTA) and other National exam conducting institutions have also postponed the entrance exams for admissions to professional courses.