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Maharashtra’s education minister urged ICSE board to relax the vaccine mandate for board exams.

Varsha Gaikwad, Maharashtra’s school education minister, has urged the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) to offer an urgent clarification on the vaccine mandate for board exams beginning April 25.

“Some students for the ICSE board have reached out to me regarding an advisory, dated January 4, 2022, issued by the CISCE, mandating Covid vaccination for all those appearing for the board exam. Some schools are citing it to say that unvaccinated students will not be permitted to sit for exams. This despite the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court that vaccines are not mandatory,” Gaikwad tweeted, adding that her office had already contacted the CISCE.

“The said mandate was issued in January,” Francis Joseph, President of the School Leaders Network, who has reached out to the CISCE on behalf of the Minister, said. Until a new advisory is published, schools will continue to follow the existing one. As a result, schools began giving their students instructions. Then some parents came to the Minister’s office to express their concerns.”

“While vaccines are a lifesaver against Covid, not allowing unvaccinated students to take exams will be discriminatory,” Minister added. I would therefore urge the CISCE to issue an urgent clarification in this regard.”

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