NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday told all schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to publish detailed results of Class 12 and 10 students tabulated by the Results Committee to enable students to decide if they should opt for the improvement exams to be held between August 15 and September 15.
The top court’s direction came on a petition filed by the Association of Private Schools of Uttar Pradesh who sought early dates for holding the improvement examination and declaration of results, apart from directions to the CBSE to refund the ₹1,500 exam fee charged from each student since no examinations were held
The association argued that students need to be told how their marks were reduced as a result of the moderation exercise conducted by the CBSE since the marks awarded to many students were much lower than the marks secured by them in internal examinations. This was due to the rationalization policy prescribed by CBSE which required the results committee to moderate marks in terms of the school’s best performance in the past three years.
“Going by the newspaper reports, everybody has scored very high marks,” the bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna remarked.
The bench noted that the CBSE has agreed to this request and will issue instructions to all schools to notify the marks assigned by the results committee on a case-to-case basis. “This shall be the responsibility of the concerned school where the students were pursuing their studies,” the order said.
The two examination boards, CBSE and CISCE, submitted a tentative schedule for the improvement exams.
The CBSE told the court that the results of the improvement examination will be declared by September 30, while the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) plans to release the same around September 20.
The association asked the two boards to consider announcing the results by September 20 due to college admissions and entrance examinations such as JEE, NEET. The court accepted the schedules provided by the two boards and refused to advance the dates.
CBSE counsel Rupesh Kumar said the examination will be conducted for three categories of students; those who apply for correction of results through dispute resolution mechanism, compartment candidates, and private, correspondence or second chance compartment candidates. The option to register for the physical examination may be made available by August 10, he added.
The two boards unequivocally objected to the demand of refunding the fee, underlining that they were “self-financing” bodies that did not receive any grant from the government. In separate affidavits, the boards said that examination fees of ₹1500 per student is the only means to pay their staff and finance the expenses for the examinations.
The association argued that since the examinations stood canceled, there was no question of collecting the examination fee.
“As per our estimates, CBSE has saved ₹200 crore by not holding a physical examination. This money can be either refunded or be used to finance mobile phones for poor students,” advocate Ravi Prakash Gupta, representing the association, said.
The bench said, “We don’t need your suggestions. Tell us if you have a legal right to get a refund.” The judges agreed with the boards that the decision to cancel examinations was taken at the last minute and they are already made all the preparations for the exams by then.
The results committee – comprising five members (for Class 12) and seven members (for Class 10) – set up this year for tabulating marks through internal assessment alone had cost CBSE around ₹40 crore on account of honorarium to the committee members, CBSE informed the court.
CBSE controller of examinations Sanyam Bhardwaj also rebutted the association on refund of fee.
“The respondent CBSE has not unjustly enriched itself by collecting examination fees which has and is being utilized by it for the purpose of conducting examination and also for the purpose of rendering various services (mark sheet, pass certificate) to students.” The CBSE will not be charging any additional fees for the students taking improvement examination,” Bhardwaj said in an affidavit.
CBSE enrolled nearly 14.5 lakh students for Class 12 this year as compared to CISCE which had over one lakh students. After the government decided to cancel the examinations this year, the board came out with an evaluation scheme by which Class 12 students were to be assessed based on a 30:30:40 ratio. This formula took the best of three subject marks of Class X Boards (30 per cent), annual results of Class 11 (30 per cent) and Pre-Boards or internal assessment conducted during Class 12 (40 per cent).