The Central Board of Secondary exams for Class 10 have been cancelled and the Class 12 exams have been postponed, the government announced on Wednesday amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India.

The decision was taken after a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the situation. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, school and higher education secretaries and other top officials also attended the meeting.

In a statement, the education ministry said that results for the Class 10 examination will be prepared on the basis of an “objective criterion” developed by the CBSE.

As for the Class 12 exams, a decision will be taken after reviewing the pandemic situation on June 1. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations, the ministry said.

The government added that in case Class 10 students are not satisfied by the marks allocated as per the CBSE’s criteria, they can sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold them.

In the meeting on Wednesday, the Centre took note of the fact that schools have been shut in 11 states amid the second wave of coronavirus in India. The government said that it was important to conduct the CBSE board exams simultaneously throughout the country. The prime minister said that well being of students has to be the top priority for the government.

The Class 10 and 12 exams were earlier scheduled to be held between May 4 and June 14. However many, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi had demanded that the exams be postponed.

Reacting to the Centre’s decision, Kejriwal in a tweet said that it was “a great relief for lakhs of students and their parents”.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi urged the government to cancel the Class 12 exams as well. The Congress tweeted appreciating Modi for listening to “sound advice from Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi”.

India on Wednesday reported 1,84,372 new Covid-19 infections in yet another record in daily cases. With 1,027 more deaths in 24 hours, the toll went up to 1,72,085, while the count of active cases stood at 13,65,704.

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