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CBSE in Mess of Its Own Making: What’s Happening to 2017 Results?

Even as the matter is now likely headed to the SC, the wait gets longer for those awaiting their board marks.

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India
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For years, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) unfairly tampered with the Class XII board marks of its students. But following this reporter’s investigation in June 2016, CBSE was forced to introspect and address the concerns regarding its unfair marking patterns.

The year-long saga that followed has resulted in government interventions, a High Court order, and an indefinite delay of this year’s results. How did it all unfold and where is the CBSE headed from here?

Find out in this timeline of CBSE’s marking mess.
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Even as the matter is now likely headed to the SC, the wait gets longer for those awaiting their board marks.
(Graphic: Meghnad Bose/The Quint)

The Investigation: In a report on 6 June 2016, CBSE’s lies about having a fair system of moderating marks were exposed. Conclusive data analysis of CBSE results over the past decade showed that the board was inflating students’ marks unequally – that is, marks of different students were being raised by different amounts.

For the first time ever, the data that blew the lid off arguably the country’s biggest marking scam is at your fingertips, exclusively on The Quint. Catch the details of how two of India’s biggest board exams inflated students’ marks, in this report: Exclusive: How CBSE, ISC Cheated You by Moderating Marks Unfairly.

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The Introspection: In the months that followed, CBSE was forced to internally address the concerns that had been raised about its flawed methods of marking. In December 2016, the governing body of the board decided that moderation should be done away with. But on one condition - other boards must do the same. Top CBSE officials argued that if other boards did not stop moderation along with them, CBSE students would be unfairly disadvantaged, especially when it came to college admissions.

CBSE decided it would approach the Union HRD Ministry to help resolve the matter. A consensus between all school boards could be forged only with the government’s cooperation.

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The Consensus: On 24 April 2017, CBSE and 31 other school boards agreed to do away with this practice of bumping up or spiking students’ marks to show higher scoring results.

The consensus was reached at a three-hour-long meeting attended by officials from the Union HRD Ministry, state boards from across India, and the CBSE.

At the end of the meeting, the HRD Ministry’s School Education Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted:

The following day, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar was reluctant to take the credit, saying the boards had come to the decision on their own, without pressure from the government.

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Courting controversy: A petition in the Delhi High Court, filed by Rakesh Kumar and advocate Ashish Verma, argued that states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh have decided to implement the new ‘no moderation’ policy only from 2018, and hence the students from these states would fare better than those from Delhi and other states.



Even as the matter is now likely headed to the SC, the wait gets longer for those awaiting their board marks.
(Graphic: Meghnad Bose/The Quint)

Responding to the petition, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh called CBSE’s decision to implement its new policy for the 2017 results “unfair and irresponsible”. It ordered CBSE to go ahead with moderation of marks of students this year.

The court maintained that while CBSE's ‘no moderation’ move is "wonderful" as it is attempting to bring uniformity in the evaluation process to address the issue of "spiking" of marks, it "should have been done prospectively and uniformly for everyone across the country".

The court’s message was clear – that CBSE implement the change in policy if it wishes to, but from next year, not this one.

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Centre Stage: In an interview to CNN-News18, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar acknowledged the exposé and admitted that CBSE’s policy of spiking up marks was “an illogical menace” that needed to be stopped. Javadekar was speaking a day after the setback in court for the CBSE.



Even as the matter is now likely headed to the SC, the wait gets longer for those awaiting their board marks.
(Graphic: Meghnad Bose/The Quint)

What Next? CBSE is likely to challenge the Delhi High Court order in the Supreme Court. According to top sources in the government, the board will file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, justifying its decision to scrap the moderation policy.

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The Wait Continues: Even as the matter is now likely headed to the Supreme Court, the wait gets longer for the lakhs of CBSE students awaiting their Class XII board exam marks.

Almost every day though, one state board or the other is announcing their results. Are they following the ‘no moderation’ policy or are they inflating students’ marks? And which way will the CBSE go?

Stay tuned to The Quint as we follow every step of this story.

(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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