Keeping in view the upcoming Assembly elections in five states that are starting from 4 February, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to postpone the board examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 to 9 March, a day after the last leg of polling is conducted.
The CBSE Class 10 examinations, in which 16,67,573 students are expected to appear, would end on 10 April. Class 12 annual examinations, for which 10,98,420 students are expected to appear, would go on till 29 April.
On 8 March, voting is scheduled in some constituencies of Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.
"The board has given careful consideration to the situation before postponing the exams by a week which will now allow the students to get more time for preparation and ensure uninterrupted sequence of examinations," a statement released by the CBSE said.
The CBSE also said it has made all possible efforts to maintain reasonable time gap between the major papers and ensure that the students appearing for Joint Engineering Exam and upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test complete the CBSE examinations ahead of these entrance exams.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination is also mulling to postpone exams for the ICSE Class 10 and ISC Class 12 exams, according to Times Now. However, there is no official word yet from the council
The CBSE exams usually begin on 1 March and the results are declared in the third week of May.
The board's decision comes as surprise relief to the lakhs of applicants as it was earlier reported that the CBSE was unlikely to change the dates of the exams even as five crucial states, were set to go to polls around the same time.
According to The Times of India, the exams were initially scheduled from 1 March, however, the board had said that no exam would be held on 4, 8 and 11 March.
The short delay in the CBSE board exams is unlikely to affect the dates of the result. "The annual exam result will be declared on time as the board has adopted several IT initiatives which will aid in faster result processing, " the CBSE statement said.
The CBSE council had earlier written to the Election Commission, requesting it to keep in mind the dates of the board exams, which is usually held in the months of March and April with lakhs of students set to appear in it, according to India Today. However, as the poll schedules were announced by the Election Commission on 4 January, CBSE decided to postpone the exam schedule shortly, to ensure smooth organisation of the exams as teachers and staff would be busy with election duties.
The legislative Assembly polls are due in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Goa starting 4 February. Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between 11 February and 8 March, while Punjab and Goa will go to polls together on 4 February, Uttarakhand on 15 February and Manipur in two phases on 4 and 8 March, with counting to be held on 11 March.
Last year, 14,91,371 students had taken the Class 10 exams while 16,67,573 students would take the exam this year. Of these 8,84,710 candidates would be taking the board based examination while 7,82,863 candidates would be taking the school-based exam. The CBSE currently gives its students the option of taking either the school-based or board-based examination.
For the Class 10 exam, there would be 3,974 centres and 16,354 schools, the CBSE said. The total number of candidates for the Class 12 exam is 10,98,420 while the number of centres is 3,503 and the number of schools 10,677.
With inputs from PTI