The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national education board that looks into the curriculum and the educational system of schools affiliated to it. Besides all major government schools, it also has a huge number to private schools under its ambit. One of the important examinations conducted by the CBSE at the school level is the board examinations for classes 10th and 12th.
The CBSE has been conducting these board examinations for several years and has no doubt been efficient in the system. The board undertakes the entire responsibility of conducting these exams, right from looking into the exam dates, to allotting exam centres and overlooking the entire evaluation process.
Students appearing for the CBSE board examination are required to pay an examination fee to the board. In August 2019, the Central Board of Secondary Education made an announcement pertaining to a huge hike for the examination fee. The board has ever since been under a lot of criticism and scrutiny by parents and other organisations.
The fee hikes introduced by the CBSE were for students from both the general category and the scheduled castes/ scheduled tribes’ category. The changes introduced by it are as follows –
- The students from the general category, who earlier had to pay an application fee of Rs 750/- now have to pay Rs 1500/-
- Students from SC/ST category, who had to pay Rs 50/- as an application fee, will now have to pay Rs 1200/-
- In order to appear for an additional paper, students from both general and SC/ST categories will now have to pay Rs 300/-. General students earlier had to pay Rs 150/- whereas students from SC/ST category were exempted from paying this fee.
- Migration fee has also increased from Rs 150/- to Rs 300/-
- Candidates studying abroad will now have to pay Rs 10,000/- as against the original fee of Rs 5,000/-
There are various groups of people against this hike which is nearly double the original fees. One such group, Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangh headed by Chairman Basudev Bhatta has also been trying to get the CBSE to withdraw this hike. Bhatta has made several representations, including representations in front of the HRD Minister on 11th August 2019 and the CBSE Chairman on 12th August 2019.
The CBSE has also not accepted requests made by the governor and the chief minister. Thus, Bhatta had moved to the Odisha high court and filed a PIL on 29th October 2019. After hearing the representations of the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangh, the Odisha High Court on 18th November 2019 ordered to take a decision with regard to the withdrawal of the fee hike. The High Court has given it a time period if four weeks to do so.