Published: 08th January 2022
CBSE Class XII students can now use original marks if improvement exam scores are lower, courtesy SC
“As a result, we have no hesitation in striking down the condition specified in clause 28 that as per the policy, marks scored in the latter examination will be considered final,” the bench said
Imagine the scenario where a Class XII student attempts improvement examinations and ends up failing or scores fewer marks. Keeping the same scenario in mind, on January 7, the Supreme Court directed that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) permit these students to retain their original assessment score, as this would be in the interest of their academic career.
The top court was dealing with petitions that were filed by 11 students that challenged the rule in CBSE's Tabulation Policy of 2021 which made the score of improvement examination binding for the students with regards to all future purposes. Among these students who filed petitions were those who passed as per their original marks, but upon taking improvement exams conducted during August-September 2021, scored fewer marks or failed. They had already taken admissions in UG courses and hence, their appeal to the court was to save their academic year and allow them to retain their original marks.
It was a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar who dealt with the petitions and passed the order. The bench struck down paragraph 28 of CBSE's Tabulation Policy of 2021 which stated that, “Marks scored in the later examination shall be considered final.” This was done because the bench wasn't able to find any justification for denying students the choice to choose their original score.
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“In the past you have done it, what is the difficulty in doing it again. Give us a justification why it is not possible”, the bench stated, as per a report in Hindustan Times. The court made a note of the petitioners' grievance that this condition is a departure from the earlier scheme, wherein, the better of the two marks scored by the student was to be chosen as the final result.
Appearing for CBSE was advocate Rupesh Kumar who had filed an affidavit which stated that it was the board's decision to modify the policy partially. This allows students who had failed or were asked to repeat the test to stick to their original score. But when it comes to those students who scored fewer marks, the board was not inclined to consider their case.
As per the affidavit filed by CBSE Controller of Examinations Sanyam Bhardwaj, “Students cannot be permitted to challenge the said decision (paragraph 28 in the policy) after knowingly participating in the process, once they found that the subsequent result is not favourable to them.”
But in the interest of the academic career of students, the board modified its June 17 tabulation policy. It was also felt that those students who had failed the exams will not be able to fit into the existing pattern and syllabus of exam, which is based on questions that are objective-type.
Advocate Mamta Sharma, who was representing the 11 student petitioners, stated that if one went by the CBSE policy, a crucial year of the student's would be lost and requested the court for a sympathetic approach.