Maharashtra HSC exams cancelled, CET may be held for degree admissions

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MUMBAI: The wait for a final decision on their exams is over for 14 lakh HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) students in Maharashtra. The state cabinet on Wednesday cancelled the Class 12 board exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a day after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council of Indian Secondary Certificate Education (CISCE) boards cancelled their Class 12 exams following a meeting held by PM Modi.

A decision on the assessment methodology to be adopted by the HSC board to declare the final results is still to be taken.

The state is likely to conduct a Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to degree colleges too. It has already announced a competitive test for students seeking admission to Class 11.

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School education minister Varsha Gaikwad said the priority was to secure the health of students as the third wave was expected to affect children. As the decision to cancel the HSC exam has been taken due to the expected third wave, the final announcement will be made by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the deciding body on matters related to the Covid pandemic, Gaikwad said.

The Maharashtra government will communicate its decision on the board exams to the Bombay high court on Thursday.

The Bombay HC is hearing a petition on the cancellation of Class 10 exams and had asked the state to explain why it had kept its decision on HSC exams, which were to be held offline from April 23 to May 21, on hold. On its move to not cancel the exams earlier, the state had told the court that the Class 12 board exam was a bigger milestone for students as their careers depended on it. Students in Class 12 are “more matured, independent, socially aware and bodily and mentally fit” than those in Class 10, it said. Unlike their CBSE and CISCE counterparts, HSC students and their parents were keen on offline exams and were continuing with their studies, officials said.

According to sources, the state may adopt a marking methodology similar to that for SSC students, by giving equal weightage to Class 11 and Class 12 marks. Class 11 students (2019-20) did not have a final exam and were promoted to Class 12. In the academic year 2020-21, students only attended online lectures.

While students taking professional courses like engineering, medicine and pharmacy will appear for their respective CETs, sources said the state may go in for a CET for students seeking admission in degree colleges.

Last year, HSC exams were held before the lockdown. The state had announced the results in mid-July.

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