The CBSE Class 12 results, which schools and students expected Wednesday, will not be declared till the Board takes a decision on a Delhi High Court direction which Tuesday stopped it from withdrawing its moderation policy for the Class X and Class XII examinations held this year, saying “rules cannot be changed after the game has begun”.
Under the moderation policy, grace marks are given to students for difficult questions or errors in the question paper.
Although there was no official word from the Board on the date of the results, many CBSE-affiliated schools had informed students that the Class XII results will be announced Wednesday. But CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma told The Indian Express that the results will not be announced on May 24. On the High Court directive, she said the Board will take a decision after examining the order.
According to sources, the Board will decide after consulting the Ministry of Human Resource Development. CBSE chairman R K Chaturvedi has been called for a meeting at the Ministry on Wednesday afternoon. Board officials claim that either way the results will not be delayed, and will be announced by the month-end.
The High Court bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh, while underlining that students would be put to “grave and irreparable loss” if the policy of moderation was done away with at this stage, said the “petitioners had made a prima facie case for interim relief”.
As the balance of convenience was also in the favour of students, authorities were directed “to follow declared policy, including moderation” which was in vogue when the students of the academic session 2016-2017 had filled the examination forms for senior and senior secondary exams.
The bench, however, said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits, demerits, legality, or constitutionality of the moderation policy. “We don’t have the expertise on education policy… We are deeply concerned in the manner, especially timing (of the new policy), which can change the academic future of students,” it said.
The bench said students who had secured conditional offers from foreign universities would suffer if the policy was changed. These universities assessed the eligibility on the basis of CBSE’s existing policy. Once changed, it would have “drastic results”, the bench said.
Underlining some “critical issues”, the bench said that students were not informed about the new policy at any stage before the examination. The last date of submitting examination forms was extended from November 5, 2016 to January 5, 2017. The same month, roll numbers were generated, and exams commenced from March 24.
While the examinations ended on April 29, the authorities — including State Education Boards (except Kerala), Secretary, School Education, Ministry of HRD and CBSE — reached a consensus on policy modification to do away with moderation at a meeting on April 24. This decision was conveyed to all state boards through a letter dated May 10. “On any of the dates, the policy of 2016 was in vogue,” the bench noted, adding that the authorities had admitted this.
Earlier, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said according to the new policy, the threshold level — where the student was given grace marks to secure passing marks — was not changed. It was only in the cases of “spike in marks” that the change was made. As the students also did not have an inherent or vested right to claim moderation, “apprehension expressed was speculative,” he said.
“We are only concerned about students… We are not staying the policy… Do it in future… Please let children know what is being done… It might be a wonderful policy, but give a chance to students… We are concerned with the trauma of students who have given the exams,” the bench said.
Noting the submission that around 11 lakh and 8 lakh students across the country appeared for the senior secondary and secondary exams respectively in CBSE, the bench said “the students wanted to know where they stand.” Impleading Delhi University as a party in the matter, the court has listed the case for July 20.