The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said the ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE education boards can submit question banks to the Maharashtra state board so that it can set a single paper for a Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to Std 11th.
As no external examination was held for Std 10th this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a CET will be held on August 21 for students from all the boards for admission to the first year of junior college.
A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a petition by ICSE student Ananya Patki, challenging a May 28 government resolution which said the CET will be based solely on the SSC (Secondary School Certificate) board’s syllabus. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the state government, opposed the petition and said if the CET was cancelled, it would affect the rights of lakhs of students.
“Over ten lakh students have already registered for the CET,” he said.
The state government has requested other boards to submit question banks of 200 sample questions each, to be fine-tuned and included in the CET, he said.
The CET would have seven groups of questions of 25 marks each. Questions in four groups would be based on the SSC board syllabus for maths, science, social sciences and English, while three groups would comprise questions from the other boards, he said.
Students can attempt questions from any four of these seven groups, the advocate general explained. While the CBSE has not taken any objection to the CET, the ICSE is not party to the petition before the HC, he said.
Stating that there was no unanimity among various boards, Kumbhakoni said that if there was further delay, the admission process will be over only in October.
The bench said the other boards can submit question banks to the state government if they wish. It would take up the plea for final hearing on August 6, it added.
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