CBSE objects to demand for refund of exam fee; SC asks boards to directs schools to disclose students whose marks were moderated

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During the hearing of a petition filed by the Association of Private Schools of Uttar Pradesh, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) opposed a demand by the petitioner for refund of board exam fees. The CBSE told the Supreme Court that it would not charge any extra fees for  the improvement exam but rejected demands for refund of the exam fee for the board exams which were not conducted this year.

The two boards argued that they were self financed and received no grant from the government and therefore the examination fee of Rs.1500/- per student was the only source of finance from which they could pay their staff as well as finance  the expenses for the examinations.

The Petitioners had argued that CBSE would have saved about Rs 200 crores as the exam was not conducted and therefore the money could be used to finance mobile phones for poor students, or be refunded. CBSE, on the other hand, submitted that it had not unjustly enriched itself and that the fees collected is being used for the process of  conducting the examination and for the purpose of rendering services like mark sheets and pass certificates to the students. It said that it had to spend about Rs. 40 crores to pay honorarium to the members of the Results Committee.

CBSE informed the Court that all schools affiliated with it would publish detailed results of both Class 10 and Class 12 students. It would consist of their internal assessment marks, highest average of the school in the preceding three years, and the final allocation of marks by the Results Committee. This would help the students to decide on whether to appear for the improvement exam or not.  CBSE also informed the Court that it would declare the results of the improvement examination by September 30, while CISCE said it would do the same by September 20.

The petitioner association told the Court that most students who had done well in their internal examinations found their final score to be less. This was in accordance with the CBSE’s policy of moderation which required the results committee to moderate marks in terms of the school’s best performance in the past three years. The association argued that therefore the students should be told how many marks were reduced due to moderation. The Court agreed to grant the request and the CBSE agreed to issue a circular in this regard. The Court said, “On instructions, CBSE has submitted that it will issue directions to all the schools registered under that Board to notify the internal assessment marks, highest average in the preceding three years and the marks assigned by the Result Committee on case-to-case basis. That shall be the responsibility of the concerned school(s) where the students are pursuing studies.”

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