Home Minister Amit Shah announced the government's decision to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct the pending Board exam 2020 for classes 10th and 12th on Wednesday, May 20.
The Minister announced the new decision taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the exams, stopped due to the spread of Covid-19 through his Twitter handle.
MHA grants permission for exams
As per the MHA order, no examination centre will be permitted in the containment zones -- the specific geographical areas defined by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) where positive Covid-19 cases are found.
As per the MHA order, all teachers, students and staff involved in the examination process will have to mandatorily wear masks. There shall be provisions of thermal scanning and sanitisers at all the centres where maintaining social distancing will be a must.
CBSE requests to conduct the exam
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to the chief secretaries of all the states said that the ministry has received requests from the state governments and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for conducting the board examinations and the matter has been examined by the ministry.
"Taking into consideration the academic interest of a large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct the examinations for class 10th and 12th," he wrote.
The Home Minister attached a letter from Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to his state counterparts, in which it was also said thermal screening was compulsory at all exam centres and that exam schedules would have to be staggered.
No exam centres in containment zones
The government has also said that no exam centres will be permitted in containment zones. The annual board exams for Class X and XII were suspended after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The lockdown is presently in its fourth phase and will continue till May 31.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has declared that students will appear for the pending Class X and XII board exams at the schools where they are enrolled, instead of an external exam centre.
The ministry is also planning to declare the board exam results by July-end and the evaluation process has already begun for the papers which were conducted before the lockdown was announced.
The pending board exams will now be held from July 1-15, maintaining strict social distancing norms.