The Central Board of Secondary Education will conduct the pending Class 10 and Class 12 board exams at 15,000 centres across the country from July 1 to July 15, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said on Monday. Earlier, 3,000 centres were supposed to hold these examinations.

The decision to increase the number of centres was taken to ensure physical distancing and to minimise travel for students. “The class 10, 12 exams will now be conducted at over 15,000 exam centres across India,” said Pokhriyal. “Earlier, CBSE was slated to hold exams at only 3,000 centres.”

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.

Last week, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development had announced that all pending CBSE exams for Class 10 and Class 12 will be held at the schools where the students are enrolled, instead of an external examination centre. Usually, board examinations are held at designated test centres for students.

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, the HRD minister had announced that the ministry is also planning to declare the board exam results by July-end. The evaluation process has already begun for exams which were conducted before the lockdown was announced.

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