In the wake of huge rise in COVID-19 cases in country, the central government recently decided that Class 12 board exams of CBSE would not be held this year.
The decision was taken in view of the uncertain conditions due to COVID-19 and the feedback obtained from various stakeholders.
While almost everyone welcomed the decision of the Centre to cancel the Class 12 board examinations, teachers and students are worried regarding the evaluation of students and their admission to colleges.
Followed by CBSE and CICSE, several states also cancelled Class 12 board exams.
Many students of Class 12 told ANI that they definitely welcome the decision but their tensions nevertheless remain the same as board examinations are absolutely different from pre-board exams and in case they get lower grades due to the evaluation. Also, they are worried about their admission to college now.
While holding Central University Common Entrance Test (CUCET) is proposed for admission to Central universities, the ministry is yet to decide on the fate of the CUCET and a decision in this regard is expected after the CBSE announces its alternative assessment criteria for class 12 boards.
Here's what the administration of JNU, DU, Ambedkar University, Jamia Millia Islamia, IP University and other universities have to say about the admission process:
JNU vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said the decision taken with regard to the Class 12 exams is "pragmatic and rational" considering the fact that the Covid pandemic is a once-in-a-century occurrence. The health and safety of the students are of paramount importance, he said.
"In most Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) such as JNU, the admission to undergraduate programmes is through an entrance examination. We will conduct the entrance examination whenever it is safe for the students to write it," Kumar said.
If the entrance test is delayed due to the pandemic situation and if the admissions are done at a later date than usual, the university will surely adjust its academic calendar to take care of the lost time, without compromising the academic rigour, he added.
"In HEIs, where the undergraduate admission is based on 12th-standard marks, the universities can devise appropriate procedures for admission, which are fair and transparent. We need to find optimal solutions rather than feel anxious about the challenges posed by the pandemic. Our Indian education system is capable of meeting these challenges," Kumar said.
Jamia Millia Islamia
A JMI official said with the uncertainty over the board exams coming to an end, the entrance test can hopefully be held in a timely manner.
JMI media coordinator and public relations officer Ahmad Azeem said admissions are done on the basis of the entrance test results.
"Under the CBSE evaluation criteria, marks will be awarded. If a student meets the eligibility criteria following the CBSE evaluation, they will be able to take the entrance exam," he said.
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and IP University hold entrance tests and said the decision to cancel the board exams will not have much of an impact on their admission procedure.
IP University vice-chancellor Mahesh Verma said the cancellation of the board exams will not impact the admission process because admissions are done through the online Common Entrance Test (CET).
"We just need the students to have passed their exams and that will make them eligible for the entrance exams. We give an opportunity to everybody. Earlier, we used to do it offline but since last year, we started conducting it online. We have to see how we will conduct it this year and when will it happen," he said.
The Ambedkar University, which also conducts admissions on the basis of cut-offs like DU, in a statement said it is a "timely and welcome decision by the government".
"It will help the university to complete the admission process in time and begin the next academic session timely. The CBSE will provide the results of Class 12. The process of admission in the undergraduate programmes will be merit-based, as has been done till the last academic session," it said.
Delhi University's (DU) acting vice-chancellor PC Joshi said discussions will be held with the admission committee and the academic council of the university to finalise the process of admission to the undergraduate courses.
Nearly 98 per cent of the applicants to the DU are Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) students.
"There will be some way to judge merit. These are extraordinary circumstances. The Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) can be a good method as it will be based on pan-India merit. DU will not compromise on merit. We will adjust to the new situation and see what method is to be developed. We will wait and see what are the criterion that the boards come up with for the evaluation of students," Joshi told PTI.
Joshi is a member of the CUCET committee, which had submitted its report to the education ministry. A decision on conducting a common entrance test for all central universities is pending.
(With inputs from agencies)