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CBSE cites major losses as reason for doubling exam fees

A view of CBSE headquarters in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)’s decision last week to double examination fees for Class 10 and 12 students, stems in part from its the loss of revenue from other all-India entrance tests for professional courses, which are now conducted by the newly created National Testing Agency (NTA).

Parents and students across the country got a shock when they were asked to pay ₹1500 to register for the board examinations, as opposed to the ₹750 paid by last year’s batch.

The hike was even steeper for government school students from SC/ST communities in Delhi who had been paying just ₹50, with the state government paying another ₹300 per student to the CBSE on their behalf. These students will now have to pay ₹1200 to CBSE, and the State government has not indicated whether it will reimburse the amount.

“We have not increased the fees in the last five years, but all our costs have gone up many fold in that time,” said the Board’s Controller of Examinations Sanyam Bhardwaj.

Cross-subsidies

“Earlier, we used to conduct competitive examinations such as NEET and JEE-Main, as well as the NET exam, and save money from that which could then be siphoned to subsidise the school examinations. But that is now impossible. We faced losses of ₹100 crore from last year’s school exams alone.” CBSE authorities were not able to quantify the losses specifically caused by the removal of competitive examinations.

A senior official at the National Testing Agency told The Hindu it had processed 60 to 70 lakh candidates this year, most of whom appeared for examinations earlier conducted by CBSE.

The Board is an autonomous institution, which receives no funding from the government, but functions under the supervision of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

“CBSE is a self-financed body, and the Board works on no profit-no loss basis,” said an official statement.

Currently, its main sources of revenue are the affiliation fee paid by almost 21,500 schools and the examination fee paid by Class 10 and 12 students.

As with NIOS

The statement pointed out that the hike makes CBSE’s rates comparable to the other central board, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), which charges between ₹1200 and ₹ 2000 per student.

“The cost of paper and printing has shot up,” added Mr. Bhardwaj

Former CBSE chairperson Ashok Ganguly said the Board should look at other options to manage its finances.

 “Losing revenue from professional entrance examinations would certainly affect finances, but that does not mean CBSE has to raise money from students,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 11:39:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbse-states-major-losses-as-reason-for-doubling-exam-fees/article28996392.ece

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