The Ministry of Human Resource and Development on Wednesday announced that all pending Central Board of Secondary Education exams for Class 10 and Class 12 will be held at the schools where the students are enrolled, instead of an external examination centre, PTI reported. This has been done to avoid the spread of the coronavirus infection, the ministry said.

“Students will appear for the exams in their own schools and not at external test centres to ensure minimum travel for them,” an unidentified CBSE official told PTI. “Schools will be responsible for ensuring physical distancing norms are followed...Students will be required to carry their own sanitiser bottles and cover their face with [a] mask.”

Usually, board examinations are held at designated test centres for students. This is done to ensure a minimum bias from schools for their students and to enable independent external invigilators to monitor the examination process.

This came a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requested the ministry to ensure proper cleanliness is maintained at all examination centres with all hygiene protocols in place during exams.

Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Monday released the schedule for the Class 10 and class 12 board exams, which will be held from July 1. The board had announced last month that it will only conduct pending exams in 29 subjects which are crucial for promotion and admission to higher educational institutions.

All schools and colleges have been shut since March 16, days before the Centre announced a countrywide lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The lockdown has now been extended till May 31.

CBSE had postponed all examinations scheduled after March 18 for Class 10 and Class 12, in light of the lockdown. While Class 12 exams will be conducted across the country, the Class 10 exams are only pending in North East Delhi. Exams in the district were cancelled in February because of the clashes that broke out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing. At least 53 people were killed and hundreds others were injured between February 23 and 26.

In a live address to students on Tuesday, Nishank announced that the ministry is also planning to declare the board exam results by July-end and that the evaluation process has already begun for exams which were conducted before the lockdown was announced.

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