The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Wednesday directed the Central Board of Secondary Education and all other educational institutions in the country to postpone exams till March 31 due to the coronavirus outbreak, PTI reported.

“While maintenance of academic calendar and exam schedule is important, equally important is safety and security of students who are appearing in various examinations as also of their teachers and parents,” HRD secretary Amit Khare said in an official communication.

“All the ongoing examinations, including CBSE board exams, be postponed till March 31 and rescheduled thereafter,” he added

The CBSE in a statement said Class 10 and Class 12 exams that were scheduled between March 19 and March 31 will be rescheduled after “re-assessment of the situation”.

The HRD ministry order also directed that exams organised by the University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, National Institute of Open Schooling and the Joint Entrance Examination should be rescheduled after March 31.

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 151 on Wednesday.