On Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter to announce that students giving board exams would be granted an exemption when it came to the lockdown put in place to control the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"Taking into consideration the academic interest of large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct Board examination for classes 10th and 12th, with few conditions like social distancing, face mask etc, for their safety," the Home Minister tweeted.
He also shared a notice by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla outlining the same.
Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdown, board exams had been suspended. For many, even today, the exams remain partially done, with some papers remaining.
At the same time, the lockdown was recently extended for the fourth time. And while lockdown 4.0 comes with many relaxations, schools, colleges and other educational institutions continue to remain shut.
The letter sent by Bhalla to all the Chief Secretaries of states says that in response to requests from the State Governments and CBSE, the situation had been evaluated by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Taking into consideration the academic interest of large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct Board Examinations for Classes 10 and 12," he said.
This will however be subjected to restrictions. For one thing, no exam centres will be permitted in the containment zones.
It has also been made mandatory for students, teachers and staff members to wear facce masks. Provisions for thermal screening and the availability of sanitisers at all centres must be ensured. Additionally, social distancing norms must be maintained by everyone going to the exam centre.
"In view of examination to be conducted by different Boards, their examination schedules should be staggered," the notice added.
It also said that special buses may be arranged by the various states and union territories in order to facilitate the transportation of the students to and from the exam centres.