The Week In Education: Nearly 20 states cancel Class 12 exams

Major entrance exams, including INI CET 2021,were postponed; IITs launched new MTech courses; QS ranking and AISHE reports released.

The Week In Education: Nearly 20 states cancel Class 12 exams representational image (credit: Ganesh Chandra)
Team Careers360 | Jun 13, 2021 - 11:04 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The week brought two reports that offered broad comments on India’s higher education scenario -- the QS World University Rankings 2022 placed just three Indian institutions in the top 200 globally and the domestic government survey, All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20 showed an improvement in enrolment, especially for women.

Latest: Know your estimated Class 12th percentage based on new CBSE assessment criteria. Click here

The QS ranking also elicited a note from V Ramgopal Rao, director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi who concluded that IITs need to do more to make their work visible and also pushed for more high quality institutions to relieve admission pressure on the IITs. IIT Delhi was one of the top three in India.

The AISHE 2019-20 showed an overall improvement in enrolment in higher education, especially for women, but historically marginalised communities still lag despite reservation. Plus, women’s representation in the premier Institutions of National Importance (INI) continues to be dismal.

Even more sobering was the international NGO, UNICEF’s finding that child labour has risen to 160 million globally for the first time in two decades due to the COVID-19. While recent data from India was not available, UNICEF said the prolonged school closures would have led to an increase here as well. The pandemic also forced the postponement of several major entrance exams including the INI CET 2021 for admission to PG medicine in top public institutions.

These were the most significant developments over the week.

Education ministry

The education ministry this week approved guidelines to develop “accessible” special e-content for children with disabilities.

Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ also announced that the department of school education and literacy will also track out-of-school children via an online module.

Also Read | Why Andhra Pradesh’s teachers, activists oppose its school reform plan

Class 12 board exams cancelled

By May 6, a dozen states had already cancelled their Class 12 board exams 2021. These states followed:

  • Tamil Nadu cancelled the TN Class 12 board exams. Chief minister MK Stalin said a committee would be formed to work out alternative assessment systems.

  • Himachal Pradesh board cancelled the Class 12 exams as well. These students will also be assessed by an alternative set of criteria and will have the opportunity to write the exam later if they are not satisfied with the marks they get.

  • West Bengal cancelled the Class 12 HS and Class 10 Madhyamik exams after seeking public opinion on holding them.

  • Telangana Board cancelled the TSBIE Class 12 exam

  • Jammu and Kashmir’s administration cancelled the JKBOSE Class 12 exam and also the Class 11 one.

  • Puducherry administration cancelled the Class 12 board exams for schools in Puducherry and Karaikal regions adopting the Tamil Nadu pattern of curriculum.

  • Jharkhand cancelled the JAC board exam 2021 for Classes 10 and 12.

Assam board HSLC and HS exams for Classes 10 and 12 will be held, announced the state government but later introduced a caveat saying they will be conducted if the number of COVID-19 cases reduce.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which cancelled its Class 12 board exam after a meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi on June 1, has extended the last date for submitting the internal assessment and online practical scores till June 28.

The Board of Secondary Education Haryana (BSEH) announced the BSEH Class 10 result -- all students passed as the exams were cancelled.

Also Read | Coronavirus: Telangana teachers fight for colleagues lost to COVID-19

IIT: New courses

  • IIT Roorkee is launching a new postgraduate course in artificial intelligence and data science. The first batch of MTech in AI and Data Science will be inducted in 2021.

  • IIT Delhi will start a new course, MTech in electric mobility, from 2021.

Also Read | How do IITs set question papers for open-book exams?

NEET 2021, medical colleges

Tamil Nadu has raised fresh complaints about the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG) with chief minister MK Stalin writing to PM Modi “urging him to cancel the conduct of NEET and all other national level entrance exams, keeping in mind the safety of the students, as the reasons for cancelling the class XII board exams are equally applicable to entrance exams as well”. Other parties, including the Congress, want Stalin to intervene as well and the state government has constituted a committee to study the impact of NEET.

Punjab government has announced plans to establish four medical colleges at Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Malerkotla.

The Rajasthan government has announced that it plans to establish Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy colleges in six districts of the state, including Jaipur.

Schools: Academic year, vacations

  • Goa to start its new academic session in schools on June 21. The mode of education, whether offline or online, is yet to be decided.

  • Jammu and Kashmir announced a 48-day summer vacation for all schools falling in the summer zone of Jammu division.

Also Read | NITI Aayog SDG Index: Kerala best for quality education, Bihar worst

University exams

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) accepted recommendations of a high-level committee that decided intermediate and final-year exams must be mandatory for LLB students. The mode of the exam was left to the institution to decide.

  • Delhi University (DU) OBE exams began on Monday for final semester UG and PG students. Nearly 35,000 students took the open-book exams (OBE) on the first day.

  • Uttar Pradesh decided that only final-year exams would be held in undergraduate courses as it issued guidelines for annual and semester examinations for the academic year 2020-21

  • Kerala Government said that internet connectivity and digital devices would be provided for all students in the state irrespective of their financial and geographical barriers to pursue online classes.

Also Read | Dalit activist crowdfunds Oxford University admission fee in 3 hours

Entrance exams: IPMAT, INI CET 2021, MHT CET

  • ICAI CA Foundation: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) postponed the CA Foundation exams to July.

  • IPMAT 2021: Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Rohtak postponed the Integrated Programme in Management Aptitude Test (IPMAT 2021) due to COVID-19.

  • INI CET 2021: The Supreme Court directed all India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to postpone the combined entrance test for admission to postgraduate programmes in medicine in top public colleges, INI CET 2021, by a month. It was scheduled for June 16 and doctors had been protesting.

  • KCET 2021: The Karnataka government announced that the combined entrance tests for various professional and vocational courses, including BTech engineering, will be held in August.

  • MHT CET 2021: Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell released the MHT CET 2021 exam pattern this week. The State CET cell is yet to announce the dates of the examination.

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