The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday clarified that all regional languages have been kept in the category of minor subjects for first term exams for class 10 and 12.
The clarification by the CBSE came following objection by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to keeping Punjabi out of the main subjects.
"I firmly oppose the CBSE's authoritarian decision to keep Punjabi out of the main subjects. This is against the federal spirit of Constitution, violating the right of Punjabi youth to learn their native language. I condemn this biased exclusion of Punjabi," Channi had tweeted.
Responding to his objection, a senior board official said, "As it is known, the CBSE has declared the date sheet of the major subjects of classes 10 and 12 for term – I Examinations."
"It is clarified that the classification of subjects has been done purely on administrative ground for the purpose of conduct of first term exams based on the number of candidates appearing in the subject and in no way reflects the importance of subjects as major or minor.
"Every subject is equally important from academic point of view. Punjabi is one of the regional languages being offered. All the regional languages have been put under the minor category for the purpose of administrative convenience in relation to the logistics required for the conduct of examinations," the official added.
The board had on Monday announced that the first term board exams for class 10 will begin from November 30, while the exams for class 12 are scheduled from December 1.
While the exams for minor subjects for class 10 will be conducted from November 17 to December 7, those for class 12 will be conducted from November 16 to December 30.
Bifurcating the academic session, holding two term-end exams and rationalising the syllabus were part of the special assessment scheme for class 10 and 12 CBSE board exams for 2021-22, which were announced in July in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CBSE is offering 114 subjects in class 12 and 75 subjects in class 10. Out of these, 19 are major subjects in class 12 and nine in class 10.
The exams will be objective and the duration of the tests will be 90 minutes. The exams will start from 11.30 am instead of 10.30 am in view of the winter season.
The exams for the minor subjects will be conducted by schools, though the question paper will be provided by the board.