The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations on Friday postponed the board exams for Class 10 and Class 12 students, PTI reported. The new dates for the exams will be released in June.

“In light of the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, the class 10 and 12 exams which were to be held from May 4 have been deferred,” Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations’ Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon said. “While Class 12 exams will be conducted at a later stage, Class 10 students will get an option to either appear in offline exams later or get evaluated on basis of fair and unbiased criteria to be developed by board.”

Earlier this week, the Central Board of Secondary Education too cancelled its Class 10 board exams and deferred the Class 12 board exams. Several state boards have also postponed or cancelled examinations, amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

With total cases of more than 1.42 crore infections, India is the world’s second worst-affected country, trailing only the United States. But the growth in infections in India is faster than anywhere else in the world, as cases surge through urban and rural areas.

On Friday, the country reported 2,17,353 new cases, the highest figure recorded so far since the pandemic began in January 2020. The toll increased to 1,74,308 with 1,185 deaths, the highest since September 19.