Watch: CBSE 2018’s Class 12 Marking Scam, Explained

CBSE has again unfairly ‘moderated’ marks using a method that the HRD Minister called “illogical and unacceptable.”

4 min read

Video editor: Sandeep Suman
Cameraperson: Shiv Maurya

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has cheated lakhs of students who appeared for the Class 12 board exams in 2018.

The board has unfairly ‘moderated’ marks using a method that Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had called “illogical and unacceptable” and had assured would be abolished.

So, to the CBSE and the Union HRD Ministry, I have a question.

CBSE Cheats 2018 Class 12 Students by Marking Unfairly

Why did the CBSE continue to use a method of marking that the Central government called “an illogical menace”?

The CBSE increased the marks of students. But the problem is that they raised the marks of different students by different amounts. And they didn’t increase everyone’s marks either – it was an unequal, illogical, discriminatory ‘moderation’ of marks.

And CBSE, don’t even try lying that you didn’t ‘moderate’ marks unfairly. We have proof that you did. And it’s hard, irrefutable data.

See the number of people who scored 95 in maths this year?

In business studies, the peak is, again, at 95.
Accountancy – a towering 95 yet again.
That is proof that CBSE’s ‘moderation’ was extremely unfair. How? Coming to that in a bit. But before that, here’s a quick flashback about how we got here.

CBSE and HRD Ministry’s Broken Promises

On 6 June, 2016, my investigation on CNN-News18 exposed how the CBSE and the ISC had been practicing unfair methods of marking. The CBSE was forced to act. Thirteen months ago, on 24 April, 2017, CBSE and 31 other school boards from across India held a meeting chaired by the HRD Ministry.

At the end of the meeting, HRD Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted, “Consensus arrived at doing away with “spiking” of marks through “moderation”.”

But hang on, this was the middle of April. And some state boards had already started marking papers. So, a petition in the Delhi High Court argued: why should CBSE stop “moderation” in 2017 if other boards were going to stop moderation only from 2018?

The court ordered CBSE to go ahead with ‘moderation’ of marks in 2017.

Which means that 2018, THIS year, was supposed to be the first year in which the CBSE would stop moderation of marks. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

The Proof of CBSE’s Unfairness: Data of Marks Awarded

And here is the proof we told you about. You know why these graphs have this incredible surge at 95?

Because 95 is the random mark at which CBSE arbitrarily stops moderation. Say, for example, you’ve actually scored 85 in mathematics and the CBSE bumps it up by 10 marks to 95. But if you ACTUALLY get 95, they can’t possibly increase your marks to 105!

So, the arbitrary mark at which the CBSE just stops moderation is 95.

Here’s why this is so unfair. Consider students A and B. Let us assume they have exams in two subjects which will determine their college admission.

In Subject 1, student A scores 95 and B gets 85. But B’s 85 is moderated to 95 while A’s mark stays at 95.

In Subject 2, A scores 95 and B scores 96.

A now has 95 and 95.
B now has 95 and 96.

Without moderation, A was 9 marks ahead of B. But thanks to ‘moderation’, A loses a college seat to B.

Explaining the unfairness.
Explaining the unfairness.
(GIF Courtesy: Sandeep Suman/The Quint)
And CBSE has been doing this unfair ‘moderation’ at least from as far back as 2008! Here, the graphs tell their own story.

Questions CBSE and HRD Ministry Must Answer

Even the CBSE’s own by-laws don’t mention any scope for such arbitrary spiking of marks – not even in the section on ‘the moderation policy’.

CBSE’s moderation policy from the board’s by-laws. 
CBSE’s moderation policy from the board’s by-laws. 
(Photo Courtesy: CBSE)

Dear Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar,

In 2017, you said, “For the last several years, boards have been inflating marks. This spiking of marks is unacceptable – it is an illogical menace.”

  • Then why did the CBSE continue with “the illogical menace”?
  • Did the Central government know about the CBSE’s decision to unfairly ‘moderate’ this year’s marks as well?
  • And what can possibly be the excuse to defy a categorical assurance given by the HRD Minister and the CBSE just last year?
  • Why did the CBSE lie to its students that they will stop moderation?
The CBSE will have to answer for cheating its own students and unfairly affecting their college admissions. My question today is – who will hold the CBSE accountable?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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