HC to CBSE: Keep Moderation This Year, Causes Delay In Result

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The class 12 results of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which were expected to be announced on Wednesday, will not be announced till the CBSE board takes a decision on a Delhi High Court direction that stopped it from withdrawing its moderation policy for the Class X and Class XII examinations held this year. The court said, “Rules cannot be changed after the game has begun.” The grace marks are given to the students for difficult questions or errors in the question paper under the moderation policy.

Even though there was no official announcement by the CBSE on the date of the results, many of the CBSE-affiliated schools and various educational sites informed students that the Class XII will be out by Wednesday. On the other hand, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) spokesperson Rama Sharam said to The Indian Express that the results will be publicized on May 24. While commenting on the order of the High Court, she said that the Board will take a decision on it after examining the order. As per the sources, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will take any decision on it only after consulting the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The chairman of CBSE R K Chaturvedi has been called for a meeting on Wednesday evening at the Ministry. According to the Board officials, the results will not be delayed and it will be announced by the month-end.

While responding on the withdrawing of the moderation policy at this stage, Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh of the High Court Bench said that it would put students to “grave and irreparable loss” if the policy of moderation will be taken away at this stage, said the “petitioners have made a prima facie case for interim relief”. The authorities have been directed “to follow declared policy, including moderation” that was going when the students opted for the examination forms for senior and senior secondary exams for the academic session of 2016-17. On the other hand, the bench cleared that they are not imposing or expressing any opinion on the merits, demerits, legality, or on the constitutional of the moderation policy. “The bench said, “We don’t have the expertise on education policy… We are deeply concerned in the manner, especially timing (of the new policy), which can change the academic future of students.”

The bench also expressed its concern over the students who had secured conditional offers from foreign universities as it said that the change in policy would affect them. It said that these universities evaluated the eligibility on the basis of CBSE’s existing policy and once it’s changed, it would affect students and have “drastic results”. While commenting on some “critical issues”, the bench claimed that the students were never informed before the examination about the policy at any stage. A Final date of submitting forms has been extended from November 5, 2016, to January 5, 2017. The roll numbers were also generated in January and exams commenced from March 24. When the examinations finished on April 29, the state education boards (except Kerala), Secretary, School Education, Ministry of Human and Resource Development and CBSE, came to a decision with consensus on finishing the policy modification with moderation at a meeting on April 24. This change in the decision was informed to all the state boards by a letter on May 10. The bench noted that “On any of the dates, the policy of 2016 was in vogue” and said that the authorities had already admitted it.

Before this, Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said that as per the new policy, the threehold level in which students are given grace marks to secure passing marks has not been changed, but “spike in marks” was changed. On the other hand, the bench said, “We are only concerned about students… We are not staying the policy… Do it in future… Please let children know what is being done… It might be a wonderful policy, but give a chance to students… We are concerned with the trauma of students who have given the exams.” Pointing to the fact that around 11 lakh and 8 lakh students across the country appeared for the senior secondary and secondary exams respectively in CBSE, the bench said, “The students wanted to know where they stand”. The court has given July 20 as the next date for the hearing.

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