The Delhi High Court, in a ruling on August 26, pulled up the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for arbitrariness and lapse in keeping the Class XII students in the dark about the change in weightage formula used for the calculation of results.
The CBSE had issued a circular on July 05, 2021, explaining that an equal weightage of 50-50% will be given to the Term I and Term II (Theory) exams in the academic year 2021-22. However, a day prior to the declaration of results, on July 21, 2022, CBSE changed that to 30-70% weightage.
According to the Delhi HC, this was like changing the rules of the race, after it has already started, and is “outrageously arbitrary.” It also said that there was nothing on record to suggest that any order was passed by the Chairperson (or competent authority) of CBSE, accepting, enforcing, or notifying the recommendation regarding the new weightage formula. Thus, merely based on recommendation of the committee, they decided to prepare the final results for Class XII and Class X using the revised weightage. “In a matter of hours, the results of lakhs of students were prepared and published the very next day, that is, on July 22, 2022.”
The court’s judgement was in response to the plea of a student, who opposed her Class XII result, and sought that her results be declared on the basis of the July 2021 circular, which mandated equal weightage to the Term I and Term II theory papers. The court allowed the plea and directed the Board to declare the result of the petitioner in terms of the original circular.
The court added that it will not interfere with the revised weightage formula in the larger interest of students, and that the petition shall not operate as a precedent. However, it said that the CBSE has violated the expectations of the petitioner and students generally, and given the rich history and legacy of growth of the CBSE, the responsibility and expectations are accordingly higher. Greater degree of care and caution, as well as due diligence is required on the part of the office bearers to ensure that due process is followed while taking decisions effecting lakhs of students.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.