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Court upholds CBSE abolition of Class 10 exams


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education to abolish formal exams in Class 10 and instead use grading system for evaluation in Classes 10 and 9.

A group of schools said in their plea that the CBSE through a circular in 2009 directed that students from senior secondary schools need not undertake the board exam for Class 10, whereas those from schools up to Class 10 shall take up the board examinations for Class 10.

Upholding the judgment of a single-judge bench, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said: “We are unable to persuade ourselves to accept the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant that the circular decision introducing the new methodology of CBSE invites the frown of Article 14 of the Constitution being unreasonable and arbitrary.”

“The appeal being sans substance, stands dismissed,” a 19-page order passed by the bench said.

Challenging the CBSE’s circulars of Sep 20 and 29, 2009, for introduction of the grading system, petitioner Independent Schools’ Federation of India said these circulars were not issued in accordance with the national curriculum framework of 2005 and needed to be set aside.

“Single judge expressed the view that an expert body like the CBSE has taken the decision by consulting all stakeholders and such a policy decision could not be interfered with on the ground that a better, fairer or wider alternative policy is available,” said the judges.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw April 26 declined to quash the CBSE notifications for introduction of grading system from academic year 2010-11.

The division bench rejected the contention that the CBSE had failed to consider its suggestions before introducing the system.

According to the association, the circulars placed multi-fold burden on students and increased the workload of teachers.

The purpose of issue of the circular, as claimed by the CBSE, was to reduce the stress on the students and help in making a holistic assessment of the students and eliminate unhealthy cut-throat competition, the petition said.

“It is evident that the CBSE has kept in view the interest of the young students and taken a policy decision to introduce a different evaluation system,” the court observed.