The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a condition specified in a clause in the Central Board of Secondary Education‘s (CBSE) evaluation policy of June last year which stated that marks obtained in the later examination will be considered as final for assessing class 12 students. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said the CBSE shall provide an option to the candidate to accept the better of the two marks obtained in the subject for final declaration of his or her results for the last academic year.
The apex court, which was hearing a plea filed by some students who had appeared in the CBSE exams last year for improving their marks in class 12, noted that a grievance has been made about the provision in clause 28 of the June 17, 2021 policy which stated that as per this policy, marks scored in later examination will be considered final.
“As a result, we have no hesitation in striking down the condition specified in clause 28 that as per the policy, marks scored in later examination will be considered final,” the bench said. The top court noted that the petitioners have the grievance that this condition has been inserted in departure of the earlier schemes where the better of the two marks obtained by a candidate in a subject was to be considered for final declaration of results. It observed that the CBSE has not given any justification for such a departure.
Last year, the CBSE class 12 board examination was cancelled due to the pandemic. The bench, which disposed of the plea, said the policy was required to be adopted because of the challenging situation faced by the students and this itself justifies making a provision which is more favourable to the students.
At the outset, the counsel appearing for the CBSE said these students have been assessed as per the improvement examination, and now they cannot take advantage of the policy. How does it affect you? Give us the justification, why this is not possible, the bench observed.
While hearing the matter last month, the apex court had said the CBSE should consider the problem of those students who had appeared in the examinations last year for improving marks in class 12 but obtained less marks, as it will affect the admissions secured by them for higher studies. The students, who appeared in the improvement exams, have taken admissions based on their original results and that should not be disturbed, the apex court had observed.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by 11 students who were declared passed in the original results by the CBSE on the basis of the evaluation policy of 30:30:40 and were subsequently allowed to appear in the improvement exams held in August-September last year. The plea, filed by advocate Ravi Prakash, had sought a direction to authorities concerned to maintain the original result of the petitioners instead of the improvement examination result.
As per a press statement of CBSE, 34,317 regular students had appeared in the offline examinations for the purpose of improvement of their marks, it said. On June 17 last year, the top court had approved the assessment schemes of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the CBSE, which had adopted the 30:30:40 formula for evaluation of marks for students of 12th standard based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
The CBSE had earlier said it would evaluate class 12 students for theory based on 30 per cent marks from class 10 board, 30 per cent from class 11, and 40 per cent from marks based on the performance in the unit, mid-term, and pre-board tests in class 12. It had said that marks obtained by class 12 students in practical and internal assessment on an actual basis as uploaded by schools on the CBSE portal would be also considered in deciding the final results.