The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced on June 1 that class 12 CBSE board exams are cancelled for this year in view of the ongoing pandemic situation across the country. Following the suit, many other state boards also decided to cancel class 12 board exams for 2021. This is a welcome move because the safety and health of students is of paramount importance. As second wave of Corona started surging around March in few states, many state governments did not take it seriously. And suddenly, the virus wrecked havoc everywhere. Education ministry then announced to delay the board exams.
As the situation worsened, class X exams were cancelled and class XII exams were further postponed only to be cancelled eventually. However, this decision is debatable and many voices have raised their concerns despite a majority of students appreciating the move. People are asking government if vaccine production and distribution had been planned wisely and equitably, there would be a possibility of maximum students getting vaccinated and they could appear for in-person exams. But now students need to plan their future course of action for their higher education.
Now the question arises here that after the cancellation of class 12 board exams, how will universities admit the students for undergraduate courses? This is so because many of the universities usually decide the admission of students based on the class 12 board exam results. Now after cancellation, will universities and colleges wait for the assessment by a ‘well-defined objective criteria’ or come up with an alternative way to decide which students to admit?
Procedure of Admission of UG Students After Cancellation of Class 12 Board Exams:
With the cancellation of CBSE and several state board class 12 exams, students are now worried about undergraduate (UG) admissions. Some universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University conduct entrance tests to shortlist candidates looking to get a seat in their different courses. But, students are most concerned about those universities that follow cut-off and merit list process based on class 12 marks for admission. So, some universities including Delhi University (DU) and Mumbai University (MU) will wait for the CBSE Class 12 result to begin merit-based admissions.
DU-affiliated colleges admit students to most of the UG programmes on the basis of merit. While on the other hand, admission to some of the programmes is given on the basis of entrance exam. The National Testing Agency (NTA) had conducted the Delhi University Entrance Test (DUET) till last year but now according to some reports, the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) might be the criteria used by 45 central universities for admission.
As DU follows merit based pattern for student’s admission in different courses, now after cancellation of class 12 board exams students are wondering that DU will still follow the same pattern or now go entrance examination way for admission to all? So to answer all these queries, vice-chancellor of DU told that if all the boards cancel their exams then there are strong chances that DU will start the registration by July 15. The university will continue the merit based admissions pattern. The various boards will give marks of class 12th to students under the special evaluation criteria and then there will be the CUCET exam for which the Vice-chancellor of DU had sent a proposal.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU):
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) wholeheartedly welcomed the center’s decision to cancel class 12 board exams. Vice-chancellor of JNU had said that amid the pandemic, decision taken by the CBSE and Prime Minister is pragmatic and rational. In most Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) such as JNU, the admission to undergraduate programs is done through an entrance examination.
So the university will conduct the entrance examination whenever the condition will become prominently safe for the students. The JNU will adjust its academic calendar to make up for the lost time, if the entrance exam will get delayed due to the critical situation and the admissions will be done at a later date.
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI):
JMI will also admit the students into UG courses by conducting an entrance test. However, the university will also consider the eligibility criteria that follow the CBSE evaluation criteria. In other words, students who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to take the entrance exam. This entrance test will decide the admission of the students. However, no official date of entrance test has been announced by the university officials. Now like other universities, JMI is also waiting for the class 12 results so that the officials can decide the eligibility criterion.
Indraprastha University (IP):
IP University is a State University that does not conduct the admission process based on merit. IP University’s vice-chancellor said that the cancellation of the board exams will not impact the admission process because admissions are done through the online Common Entrance Test (CET). With the introduction of five new courses, the university has already started its admission process. Class 12th students only need to pass the board exams and that will make them eligible for the entrance exams.
Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University (DBRAU):
Ambedkar University which conducts admissions on the basis of merit welcomed the decision of cancellation of class 12 board exams. Unlike JNU, JMI and IP universities, Ambedkar University will wait for the CBSE to announce the result and on that basis it will prepare the merit for the admission. By doing this, university is hopeful to complete the admission process in time and begin the next academic session timely.
Will CBSE Adopt a Fair Criterion for Evaluation?
Earlier colleges/universities prepared merit list based on the marks evaluated by the boards in a systematic and authentic manner. But after the cancellation of class 12 board exams, CBSE has declared that the board will evaluate the marks of students as per a well-defined objective criterion in a time-bound manner. But some students doubt this decision. The performance of students will be documented by different schools. It might be possible that some schools may now try to cover up by fabricating marks where no or poor records are maintained.
It is quite common that in many internal assessments, marks for projects and practical are allocated liberally to enhance school results. So, it might be unfair for the students who were preparing for the boards for past several months. This will also affect the admission of students in Universities. We are hoping that boards will decide simple and transparent schemes that work best for all the students.