NEW DELHI: Over 30 states and Union Territories in the country have submitted to the Union education ministry in writing their preference for a shorter version of the CBSE class XII board examinations for all subjects at home schools, top officials told The New Indian Express.
Following a meeting between top authorities from the Centre and states on holding the examination on May 23, the Centre had asked states to send detailed suggestions within two days.
Senior officials in the education ministry said that barring Delhi and Maharashtra, 32 states and Union Territories have asked the Centre to hold the examinations, citing that these tests are crucial for the kids' future and career prospects.
Delhi and Maharashtra on the other hand have said that allowing gatherings at examination centres could cause massive risks of infection to students and teachers and these tests could turn into superspreader events.
Also, 29 states -- except for Telangana, Rajasthan and Tripura -- have asked the Centre to organise the shorter version examination, spanning 90 minutes each, for all subjects, in which majority of the questions will be objective or short answer types.
The CBSE under the education ministry had proposed two options, one where examination of only 19 major subjects can be taken while evaluation for other subjects can be carried out based on the internal assessment and the second, the shorter option, which has now been preferred by most states.
Only Rajasthan, Tripura and Telangana have batted for the first option involving examinations of only major subjects but in which the process of declaring results could take around 90 days.
"We have received the responses from the states and are in the process of analysing them -- majority of the states are in favour of conducting shorter versions of tests for all subjects and completing the process from examination to results within 45 days," said a senior government official.
The official added that if the tests are taken at all CBSE-affiliated schools, it will raise the number of centres and will reduce crowding.
"As we have said that the final decision on class XII board examinations will be announced before June 1, we will make the announcement within the next 2-3 days," the official said.
Last week, a high-level meeting chaired by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on class XII examinations, besides crucial entrance tests such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test(NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE- Main and Advanced), with states had ended without a consensus.
In the meeting, the Centre had asked states to submit their feedback formally by May 25.
"The report has been compiled now after the recommendations by the states and is being discussed with the Prime Minister's Office and we are about to reach a final decision very soon,” another official in the school education and literacy department in the education ministry said.
In the wake of the deadly Covid-19 second wave that has plagued India since April, some states and various opposition parties have been rallying behind a large number of students, teachers and guardians demanding the cancellation of the examinations.