The Supreme Court on Friday approved the notification submitted by the Central Board of Secondary Education about cancelling the remaining exams for Classes 10 and 12 and said that board exam results will be announced by July 15, PTI reported. This came a day after the Centre and the CBSE informed the top court that they decided to cancel the pending board exams because of safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

A three-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna allowed the Indian School Certificate Examination to conduct optional exams for both the classes, according to Bar and Bench. “It is submitted that the assessment scheme would be slightly different than CBSE and will be notified in the website within one week,” the court said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the CBSE, said students can decide whether they want to sit for the exams or not. “We are pro student,” he told the court. “If the situation becomes conducive in September, then the student can decide in October too.”

An assessment scheme submitted by Mehta detailed the plan.

It said the marks of students of Classes 10 and 12 who have completed their exams would be based on their performance. For those who have completed examinations in more than three subjects, the average marks in their best three performing subjects would be taken to assess scores for the cancelled papers. If students have appeared for only three exams, the average of the best two subjects would be taken for assessment. Meanwhile, for few cases like in Delhi, if students appeared for one or two subjects, the average of these marks, plus their internal, practical and project assessment scores would be used. These students would also be allowed to take the optional exams to improve their performance.

The results of these will be declared along with the others by mid-July.

Mehta said this assessment scheme would be uploaded on the CBSE’s website soon.

Advocate Rishi Malhotra, appearing for the petitioners, suggested that there should be a clause stating that the students can opt to take the exam within 15 days of publication of results based on the previous assessment. Justice Khanwilkar said the board can scrap the optional exams at a later date, depending on the coronavirus situation in the country.

The ICSE on Thursday agreed “in principle” with the CBSE’s decision to cancel the pending exams. Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta said they agree with the affidavit but their average formula will not be like the CBSE’s. He clarified that there were differences in the assessment process of both the boards and said that the ICSE may decide to give Class 10 students the optional exam choice too.

“We accept the notification issued by CBSE,” the Supreme Court said. “Any other petition considering the subject of conducting exams for Class X and XII by CBSE scheduled for July 1 to July 15, 2020, stands disposed off by this order. ICSE in principle will issue similar notification.”

The petitioners seeking cancellation of the exams had argued that there was no guarantee that the coronavirus situation in India will improve by July, adding that constantly postponing exams and delaying results will “inflict irreparable loss” on students who have secured admissions in foreign universities. The petitioners had also cited practical difficulties on movement of students in containment zones and unavailability of private vehicles.