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  • CBSE taken to Court over exorbitant charge policy for revaluation of exam papers

    March 20, 2016

    WHIP (Whistle for Public Interest) has hit rocks with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) yet again. The organisation rub by law students pointed out to one of the negative points of the actions of the Board and asked the Supreme Court to look into the matter. The the students have filed a contempt petition against the education authority for charging exorbitantly for rechecking the exam papers of various students around the country.

    The Board at present charges a total of 1000 rupees for obtaining a copy of the answer sheets per subject. the Board released a notice dated May 26, 2015, which states that students who intend to verify their marks would have to pay a fee of Rs. 300. Further, to obtain a copy of the answer book, an additional fee of Rs. 700 would have to be paid. Surprising fact is that according to an RTI the photocopy is available to the petitioner at a much cheaper rate. The petitioners – Kumar Shanu and Paras Jain – founders of the organization, have sought contempt proceedings against the CBSE relating to the same.

    The petition also gets much relevance since in a ruling of the Supreme Court in the CBSE vs Aditya Bandopadhyay case in 2011, the apex court had already stated that the Board is responsible for providing the answer sheets of to a petitioner if the petitioner has asked for the photocopies within 3 months of the examination for which the answer books are maintained with the CBSE. Now lets take this into perspective. An RTI in India can be filed for a cost of 10 rupees and once the information is available to the petitioner, he/she can access the information at the cost of 2 rupees per page. Let us take on an average a student's answer booklet contains 15 pages. This means that the cost of obtaining the answer booklet of a particular examination would be 40 rupees. But the CBSE charges you 1000 rupees! A fat bundle of notes go straight into the coffers of the Board. It is the CBSE’s non-compliance of this very judgment that has deemed their actions contemptuous, according to WHIP.

    The decision to take action is not something new as the organisation had sought a reply from the Chairman of the CBSE earlier in 2016 and also gave a deadline to the whole procedure. Failure to comply with it would have meant the proceedings to reach the doors of the Supreme Court. It seems the organisation has come good on its promise.
     

    OUR TAKE

    The charges for obtaining an item as important to a student as his mark sheet or his examination answer booklet is currently very high and exorbitant. The situation has been the same for years. At a time when education is really a luxury within our country, the select few who do have access to education should not lose out on what is at hand because of high cost. CBSE defiance of the Supreme Court's judgment in 2011 is also shocking. If government institutions such as CBSE do not set an example in such cases, then the future looks bleak. As of now, the matter will be heard in the SC and till a judgment is passed, the CBSE should mull over the proposition of finally following the ruling of the apex court.


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