High Court tells Board to not ‘trouble the children’, orders it to evaluate this year’s Class X and XII exams as per moderation policy
In a major relief to students, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to evaluate this year’s Class X and XII Board exams as per the grace marks policy that was in vogue when the students submitted the examination forms.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M. Singh refused to allow the CBSE to withdraw its moderation policy for the exams held this year, saying “rules cannot be changed after the game has begun”.
Under the moderation policy, grace marks are given to students in exams for difficult questions or errors in the question paper.
CBSE to consult Ministry
The CBSE has said it will consult the Ministry of Human Resource Development Ministry over the order.
“The Board will study the court order in detail and consult the Ministry to chalk out the future path. This however, may not delay the results as moderation is not a very time consuming task,” a source said.
While hearing a petition by a parent and an advocate challenging the Board’s decision to withdraw the moderation policy, the Bench said: “These children, who have worked so hard, are entitled to some stability and the only stability they know is the system. Do not instil insecurity in them. Don’t do it (withdrawal of the policy) this year,” the Bench said.
The ruling assumes significance as some States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu have decided not to withdraw the moderation policy this year. The PIL has argued that students from such States would have an advantage over others when seeking admission into Delhi University.
The court stated that while the CBSE’s decision to withdraw the policy was “wonderful” as it was 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”.
Trouble for students
The Bench stated that another “distressing” factor was that the CBSE had “completely ignored” the fact that conditional admission had been offered to Indian students by foreign varsities on the basis of the evaluation policy in place while it decided to withdraw the moderation policy.
It said the students who would have got such offers would have taken loans and made payments and if the policy is withdrawn, it would cause “grave and irreparable financial loss” to the children.
During the hearing, the court was told by the CBSE that the deliberations over the withdrawal of the policy had begun on April 24 this year and the decision was approved on May 4 and circulated on May 10.
The court noted that by April 24 a majority of the exams had already been held and evaluation of some subjects had already started.
The Bench has listed the matter forfurther hearing on July 20. On Monday, the HC had termed as “unfair and irresponsible” the CBSE’s decision to scrap its ‘moderation policy’.