New Delhi, 23 May 2021: A national consultation was arranged today by the Ministry of Education, Government of India with the Education Ministers and Administrators of all States and UTs. The consultation was chaired by the Union Defence Minister ShriRajnath Singh, and was attended by Union Education Minister ShriRameshPokhriyal‘Nishank’, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles, Smt. SmritiZubin Irani, Union Minister for Forest, environment and Climate change and Information and Broadcasting, ShriPrakashJavadekar and Minister of State for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre. Secretary,  Higher Education Shri Amit Khare; Secretary, School Education Smt Anita Karwal  and senior officials of the Ministry also attended the meeting.

While opening the forum for discussions, the Minister for Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal“Nishank’ expressed his gratitude to the cabinet ministers from Government of India who attended the meeting today for their extensive support in the preliminary discussions leading to this consultation and for remaining present in the meeting. It may be mentioned that a  high level meeting was held on 21st May 2021 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister with nine Union Cabinet Ministers and senior officials to discuss about the conduct of Board exams for Class XII and All India Entrance  exams. The Minister expressed his gratitude to Defence Minister ShriRajnath Singh for giving his time and valuable suggestions relating to the exams. He thanked the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Minister of State for Education for attending the meeting. The Minister of Education also expressed commitment towards the safety and security of children as the first priority of the Government of India.The Minister said the entire country has come together to ensure the safety and academic welfare of the students and smooth functioning of the education system.He said that despite challenges posed by Covid-19, the Government has left no stone unturned to successfully bring education to online mode. He said that the homes were converted into schools.

The Minister discussed the importance of the Class XII Board exams and the All India Entrance exams in shaping the future and defining the careers of students. The Minister said keeping in view the present circumstances we decided to cancel the CBSE Board examinations of Class X and evaluate through internal assessment but Class-XII examinations are very important to decide the future of a student.

He said that this meeting was called to enable Central and State Boards and other examination agencies to be able to examine various options available in the present challenging circumstances through a consultation process.ShriPokhriyal assured that the deliberations with all stakeholders in the meeting today will help in reaching a suitable decision on exams in the interest of all the students and ensuring a bright future for our children.

The discussions were held around two themes, i.e, board exams to be conducted for Class XII by the Central Board of Secondary Education and other State Boards and the All-India Entrance examinations for various higher education institutions and professional courses. Various options regarding the methodology, process, duration and timings of the exams were discussed. While a broad consensus was there, however, it was decided that States and UTs may like to further examine the matter and send their feedback in writing by the 25th of May,2021.

The meeting was attended by Chief Minister of Jharkhand and Goa, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi  and State Education Ministers, State Education Secretaries, Chairpersons of Examination Boards , Administrators of Union territories, Secretaries of Higher Education Department and School Education Department of Government of India, Chairman CBSE, UGC and AICTE, DG NTA and several other  officials.

While summing up, Union Defence Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh thanked all the participants for putting forth their positive suggestions on the proposals for conducting examinations. He requested States and UTs to submit other suggestions, if any, to the Ministry of Education by this Tuesday i.e. 25th May. The Ministry will consider all those suggestions and take a final decision soon, he added. He reiterated that the priority of the Government is to conduct all the examinations in a safe and secure environment.

Earlier on 14th April, the Central Board of Secondary Education had notified that Class XII exams have been postponed and that further information with regard to Class XII board exams would be given to students by the 1st of June. In this context, following the consultative meeting with the States and UTs today, the Government of India will examine the suggestions received from the various State Governments this week and convey further information in this regard to the students by or before the 1st of June 2021.