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The number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) crossed more than 9000, with the number of deaths more than 300 as on 13th April 2020. Odisha and Punjab have already announced the extension of lockdown amidst the pandemic up to 30th April 2020. The recent video conference meeting of state CMs with PM Modi also raised questions whether the lockdown will be extended for two or more weeks.
NTA had already postponed major examinations such as JEE Main 2020 and NEET UG 2020 for up to the end of May 2020. IIT Delhi also announced postponing JEE Advanced 2020 until JEE Main 2020 is conducted successfully. CBSE and other examination boards also postponed their Class X and XII exams with the current pandemic affecting a large population. Now with states asking the central government to extend the lockdown, exams might be delayed further.
CBSE had decided to conduct examinations for 29 subjects out of 41 pending subjects after the 21-day lockdown was lifted. With the chances of extension of the lockdown, CBSE might have to reconsider conducting these examinations of 29 subjects as well. An MHRD source said on this issue that CBSE can either conduct the exams and evaluation after lockdown. This will delay the results and the academic calendar might get delayed at large. Or CBSE can conduct the exams and evaluation during lockdown (if allowed) which is highly unlikely to happen given the gravity of the already worsening situation. The board can also take the option to assess these subjects based on the schools’ assessment of candidates and promote/demote the students based on the same. In this case, results could be announced as early as possible which will, in turn, be beneficial for students to not delay the academic calendar furthermore.
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How does delay in board examinations affect competitive exams?
Competitive exams conducted by NTA such as JEE Main 2020 and NEET (UG) 2020 provide the gateway to top engineering and medical institutes of the country. The results of these exams are taken together with the Board Results by multiple colleges to assess the academics of a candidate. Moreover, these exams are usually conducted after completion of board exams to de-escalate the pressure of exams altogether. With the delay in board exams, causing a delay in competitive exams, students are likely to start their academic calendar later around the year. This will affect their studies at large or even force them to increase their output by covering up for the lost days of studies.