The Union Home Ministry has granted exemptions from the lockdown to conduct board examinations for classes 10 and 12, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday.
The Home Ministry has already written to all state governments informing them about the exemptions given for holding the examinations across the country with certain conditions.
“Taking into consideration the academic interest of a large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from lockdown measures to conduct board examination for classes 10th and 12th, with few conditions like social distancing, face mask etc, for their safety,” Amit Shah tweeted.
In his letter to chief secretaries of states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that under the guidelines on lockdown measures, the opening of schools has been prohibited and as a result, annual board examinations being conducted by state education boards, CBSE, ICSE for classes 10 and 12 were suspended.
Bhalla said requests were received from the state governments and CBSE for conducting board examinations and the matter has been examined in the Home Ministry.
“Taking into consideration the academic interest of a large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct board examinations for classes 10 and 12,” he said.
However, the exemption to conduct board examinations will be subject to the conditions that no examination centre will be permitted in containment zones and face masks will be worn by teachers, staff and students mandatorily.
Besides, there shall be the provision of thermal screening and sanitiser at exam centres and social distancing norms have to be followed.
In view of the examinations to be conducted by different boards, their exam schedules should be staggered and special buses can be arranged by states and union territories for transportation of students to examination centres, the home secretary said.
The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
It was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17. The lockdown was further extended till May 31.