Delhi High Court brings back the Mod­er­a­tion in CBSE Board

Libertatem Magazine - - Contents - Jane Maria Tomy


The CBSE Board through a board meet­ing con­ducted on 24th April, 2017 de­cided to scrap the pol­icy of mod­er­a­tion adopted for the eval­u­a­tion of an­swer scripts. The pol­icy of mod­er­a­tion pro­vides for elim­i­nat­ing the ar­bi­trari­ness caused due to the ex­am­i­na­tion of an­swer sheets by dif­fer­ent ex­am­in­ers. It might hap­pen that some ex­am­in­ers might be lib­eral and some may be stricter. Also, some op­tional sub­jects might be eas­ier to score and some oth­ers would be dif­fi­cult.

To rule out such dif­fer­ences in the fi­nal marks, the pol­icy of mod­er­a­tion stip­u­lates that a sam­ple mark­ing scheme should be dis­trib­uted among the ex­am­in­ers. In that, pro­vi­sion for grace marks may be awarded for dif­fi­cult ques­tions or ques­tions with er­rors. There­after, even af­ter they mark, the head ex­am­in­ers would scru­ti­nize ran­dom pa­pers checked by ev­ery ex­am­iner and would dou­ble-check to see whether the ex­am­in­ers had cor­rected the pa­pers ac­cord­ing to sam­ple pa­pers. The head ex­am­in­ers had the dis­cre­tion to re­quire the ex­am­in­ers to give ex­tra grace marks if the an­swer scripts have been eval­u­ated strictly. Es­sen­tially, mod­er­a­tion helps in the pre­vent­ing the stu­dents in get­ting ad­di­tional marks and pre­vents fail­ing in the ex­ams. But, this pol­icy has been scraped out in a meet­ing and the stu­dents came to know about it only through the me­dia. The CBSE Board did not even care to give an of­fi­cial pro­nounce­ment re­gard­ing this mat­ter. Also, by the time the Board have taken this de­ci­sion, the eval­u­a­tion of the an­swer sheets had al­ready started and the ex­am­in­ers were fol­low­ing this pol­icy of mod­er­a­tion from 2016 to eval­u­ate the scripts.


The is­sue that was raised be­fore the Delhi High Court was whether the sud­den change in the pol­icy with­out any no­tice and with a ret­ro­spec­tive ac­tion be al­lowed to take place?

Would it re­sult in an ir­repara­ble in­jury to the stu­dents and should an in­terim re­lief be or­dered to curb this de­ci­sion?


The court, firstly, con­demned the CBSE Board for im­ple­ment­ing the change with­out any proper no­tice. In the words of the Hon­ourable Court, it­self :-

“We are deeply con­cerned with the man­ner in which the change of pol­icy has been ef­fected with­out no­tice to stu­dents, Uni­ver­si­ties etc., which may com­pletely change the course of aca­demic fu­ture of the stu­dents, es­pe­cially in Delhi where there is no State Board”

The re­sult of this change was that the stu­dents of the State Boards would have an up­per hand as the pol­icy of mod­er­a­tion is fol­lowed there. There­after, it also took into no­tice as to how it would di­min­ish the chances of stu­dents from get­ting ad­mis­sions into the Uni­ver­si­ties in­clud­ing the for­eign uni­ver­si­ties. The court ob­served that :-

“It can­not be de­nied that the change in the eval­u­a­tion pol­icy, that is, de­nial of mod­er­a­tion may have dras­tic con­se­quences for the ad­mis­sion of­fers, which large num­ber of Class XII stu­dents who have taken the CBSE cour­ses and ex­am­i­na­tion would suf­fer. Nei­ther the said for­eign uni­ver­si­ties nor the stu­dents were aware that there would be a change in the pol­icy of the CBSE. We are also in­formed that many stu­dents may have also made ar­range­ment of stu­dent loans and may have ef­fected pay­ments of large sums to these for­eign uni­ver­si­ties. Grave and ir­repara­ble fi­nan­cial loss would also en­sure to these stu­dents and their fam­i­lies. If the stu­dents are un­able to ful­fill the con­di­tions im­posed by for­eign uni­ver­si­ties ow­ing to the changes in the mod­er­a­tion pol­icy, then it would have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on their ed­u­ca­tional prospects”

Thus, the court pro­vided in­terim re­lief against the Board’s move to scrap the mod­er­a­tion pol­icy as it was found to be un­fair and ir­re­spon­si­ble.

Learn­ing Out­come

The board ex­ams would be eval­u­ated on the ba­sis of the mod­er­a­tion pol­icy for the year 2017.

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