Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct class 10 and 12 examinations for only 29 main subjects which are crucial for promotion and admission to higher educational institutions, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' announced on Wednesday.

"Have advised CBSE to conduct board exams only for 29 main subjects that are required for promotion and crucial for university admissions. Whenever the Board is in a position to hold CBSE board exams, it shall conduct for 29 subjects by giving adequate notice. For rest of the subjects, CBSE will not hold board exams and instructions for their marking, assessment will be issued soon," he said.

The CBSE board exams were postponed in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The HRD ministry also directed the CBSE to promote all students of classes 1 to 8 to the next class. "In view of the current situation due to #COVID19, I have advised @cbseindia29 to promote ALL students studying in classes I-VIII to the next class or grade," Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said in a series of tweets.

Students of class 9 and 11 will be promoted on school-based assessments conducted so far, he said, adding those not promoted this time can appear in school based tests online or offline.

"Students studying in classes IX & XI will be promoted to next class/grade based on the school-based assessments including projects, periodic tests, term exams, etc. conducted so far. Students not promoted this time can appear in school-based tests, online or offline," Nishank tweeted.

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On the other hand, CBSE officials informed that the board will not conduct pending class 10 and 12 examinations in foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are several CBSE schools located in 25 countries. Each of these countries are also under lockdown or have decided to close down the schools for various and differential lengths of time. Under such circumstances, it is felt that the board will not be in a position to hold differential set of exams for each of these countries," CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said.

"Also, in the present situation, it will be difficult to bring the answer books to India for evaluation purposes. Therefore, the Board has decided to not hold any more exams for the students of class 10 and 12 schools located outside India. The system of marking and assessment for the purpose of declaring results will be worked out by the Board shortly and informed to these schools," he added.

It is pertinent of mention here that the exams were postponed on March 18 following the coronavirus outbreak.

CBSE further informed after introducing two levels of mathematics papers for class 10 students, it will now offer 'Applied Mathematics' as an academic elective at the senior secondary level for those who do not want to take it up for higher studies or won't opt for engineering which require a broader understanding of the subject.

The elective subject aimed at developing an understanding of basic mathematical and statistical tools and their applications in the field of commerce and social science, will be offered as elective for class 11 students from 2020 academic session and ultimately for class 12 students from the year after.

Students who had taken up 'Basic Mathematics' in class 10 will be allowed to opt for 'Applied Mathematics' at senior secondary level.

"Mathematics is widely used in higher studies -- in the field of Economics, Commerce, Social Sciences and many others. It has been observed that the existing syllabus of mathematics aligns well with science subjects, but not so much with commerce or social science-based subjects in university education.

"Keeping this in mind, one more elective course in mathematics syllabus will be offered for senior secondary classes with an aim to provide students relevant experience in mathematics which can be used in the fields other than physical sciences," the CBSE said in an official notification.

According to CBSE officials, a course by this name was earlier designed as a skill subject.

"The academic course that has been designed now by the same name has several value additions to develop substantial mathematical skills and methods needed in other subject areas. Topics covered in two years shall aim to enable students use mathematical knowledge in the field of business, economics and social sciences. It aims to promote appreciation of mathematical power and simplicity for its countless applications in diverse field.

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"It is expected that the new subject -- applied mathematics -- is taught by connecting concepts to the application in various fields, thereby enabling students to develop 21st-century competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, logical reasoning and mathematical thinking," a senior board official said.

However, students who want to opt for mathematics in higher studies as an elective or want to take admission in mathematics (honours) course or engineering course will be required to take the existing subject 'Mathematics'.

"Applied Mathematics course is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of mathematics that are required to be successful in different fields of their career. Therefore this course may be selected by students keeping this aspect in mind.

"Students, parents and schools may take a conscious choice in selection of this subject by taking into consideration the scope of this subject in getting admission to different courses at university level," the official said.

Board officials explained that the approach of the subject 'applied mathematics' will be practical in nature. Students are expected to learn through practical applications of mathematics in different disciplines, they said.

"The students who have passed 'Basic Mathematics' in class 10 will now be allowed to take up the new academic elective 'Applied Mathematics' at senior secondary level. Accordingly, the students who have passed 'Basic Mathematics' as well as 'Standard Mathematics' in Class X of CBSE board exam are eligible for this course.

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"However, students who have passed 'Mathematics-Basic' at secondary level are not eligible to opt for 'Mathematics' at senior secondary level. The affiliated schools who have permission for running 'Mathematics' course in their school at senior secondary level shall be automatically eligible to run this course with the availability of necessary infrastructure and human resources," the official said.