After CBSE Class 12 exams scrapped, Karnataka to decide on II PU ‘soon’

According to sources, Karnataka had recently decided to hold II PU exams during the same time the Centre would decide to conduct CBSE Class 12 exams.

With the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) calling off this year’s Class 12 board examinations on Tuesday, the Karnataka government has clarified a decision on how and whether to conduct second-year pre-university (II PU) exams will be taken soon.

“A suitable decision will be taken soon considering the situation in the state, also in the interest of the students’ health and future,” Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said. The minister is likely to meet education and health experts, apart from other stakeholders, in the coming days.

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According to government sources, Karnataka had recently decided to hold II PU exams during the same time the Centre would decide to conduct CBSE Class 12 exams.

“We will conduct exams in sync with the duration of CBSE Class 12 exams. The pattern will be decided by the state after CBSE announces its mode of exams,” a top official told on Tuesday hours before the cancellation of the CBSE exams was announced.

The Karnataka government had also decided to examine the possibility of administering Covid-19 vaccines to II PU students before conducting board examinations later this year.

“Some experts have recommended we do so. A final call will be taken after discussing with Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar,” Kumar had said.

However, sources said that conducting the vaccination drive looks challenging, as most II PU students are 17 years old, while the Covid vaccination drive is open at present to only those aged 18 and above.

Meanwhile, the state Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had recommended to the Karnataka government that a set of “special” Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be issued to conduct the exams amid the pandemic. Among the major advices were identifying teachers who have received at least one dose of Covid-19 for invigilation and exam-related duties. Special training and facilities for the staff to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour are also recommended.

DPUE Director Snehal R said the government was already exploring multiple options. “We understand that some competitive exams require minimum qualifying marks in PUC while some use these marks to determine ranks for competitive exams. Keeping these aspects in mind, we shall work on the options,” she said.

Earlier last month, a group of PU college Principals had urged the state government to modify the examination system due to the pandemic. The Dakshina Kannada Pre-University Colleges Principals Association (DKPUCPA) had recommended exams to be held at the district level.

“With several students studying in other districts returning home due to the pandemic, the department should make arrangements to allow them to attend the exams at centres in their hometowns. Evaluation of answer scripts can be considered to be held at the taluk level as lecturers would be asked to travel to other cities for evaluation otherwise,” the Association had said.

They had also urged the government not to consider II PU marks for Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) — the gateway for admission to undergraduate engineering, technology, yoga and naturopathy, farm science and pharma courses.

Karnataka has nearly 6.86 lakh students who are expected to take the II PU state board examinations this year.

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