The Maharashtra government on Monday postponed state board exams for classes 10 and 12 amid the surge in coronavirus cases. The exams were scheduled to take place later in April.

The state’s School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said exams for class 10 will take place in June, while those for class 12 will be held in May. “Fresh dates for these exams will be announced accordingly,” she said.

Gaikwad said the government decided to postpone exams after discussions with students, teachers, parents, academicians and political leaders. She added that the health of students was the government’s priority.

“During the consultations, various alternative assessment options were evaluated keeping the health, well-being and future of our students in mind,” the minister said. “Postponing exams seemed to be the most pragmatic solution.”

Gaikwad added that the Maharashtra government will also request the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations and other school boards to reconsider exam dates in view of increasing coronavirus cases.

Maharashtra had on Sunday reported 63,294 new coronavirus cases in its biggest-ever one-day jump since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The number of active cases in the state went past 5.65 lakh. Maharashtra’s toll rose to 57,987 after 349 more deaths were recorded in the last day.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had indicated that a lockdown might be imposed in the state. Thackeray had called for an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the coronavirus situation in Maharashtra. He is scheduled to hold another meeting on Monday.

India reported a record 1,68,912 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday. The country’s overall tally of infections since the pandemic broke out last March rose to 1,35,27,717. With this, India now has the second-highest number of infections globally after the United States. India’s toll went up to 1,70,179 as 904 more deaths were registered in the last day.