Right to Information
SC asks CBSE to provide answer sheets strictly under RTI Act without charging exorbitant fees
Despite the historic 2011 judgment of the Supreme Court, where procuring copies of answer sheets by students came under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) continued to defy it. In a reply to a RTI query, posed by Whistle for Public Interest (WHIP), comprising a group of law students, the CBSE replied on 28 December 2015, that, it charges Rs700 per subject for providing copy of answer sheets. In addition, students were compulsorily required to go through the process of ‘Verification of Marks’ for which the CBSE has prescribed fee of Rs300 per subject. 
 
This means that a student has to pay Rs1,000 per subject, if she applies for a copy of the answer sheet. This was in gross violation of the SC order of 2011, which held that “Answer-Sheet is an Information and therefore, examinees shall have the right to inspect their Answer-Sheets under RTI Act, 2005 and its Rules made thereunder which prescribes Rs10 as application fee for getting the information and Rs2 per page for the copies of such information.” 
 
This prompted the group of young lawyers of WHIP to file contempt of court at the apex court. Kumar Shanu, one of the members of WHIP says, “We filed a contempt petition against the Chairman of CBSE in the Supreme Court for willfully disobeying the 2011 judgement. Our Contempt petition was heard on 1st August and on 16th August by the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice PC Pant. Advocate Prashant Bhushan represented us on pro-bono basis. The express direction to the CBSE in this case has again enabled students to access their evaluated Answer-sheets under RTI an application fee of Rs10, whereas, no fee can be charged from the applicants who fall under the below poverty line (BPL) category.”
 
In its recent order, the Supreme Court directed the CBSE to “scrupulously observe” the directions made by the Court in 2011. The CBSE has been asked to provide evaluated answer-sheets to candidates under RTI Act in compliance with the Supreme Court’s Ruling in the matter of CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors –Civil Appeal No. 6454/2011). 
Before filing the contempt petition in the Supreme Court, WHIP members sent a letter on 22 January 2016, to the Chairman of CBSE requesting to quash this unfair rule and implement the law of providing the answer-sheets under RTI. 
 
Shanu says, “CBSE stated that they could not provide answer sheets under RTI, as it would involve huge costs. The Board also said that the fees was charged not with the intention of earning profit, but to ‘devise a mechanism that is systematic and fool proof to remove the element of subjectivity’.”
 
This compelled WHIP members to approach the Supreme Court. Their contentions was that, “CBSE, being an institution responsible for educating a large section of the society refuses to comply with the law laid down by the Supreme Court of India. CBSE was blatantly taking away the rights of nearly 50 lakh students every year as it conducts board examinations, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and National Eligibility Test (NET). The Supreme Court’s decision in our contempt petition shall not only ensure the students get access to their answer-sheets under RTI but it will also help a large number of youngsters learn and use the Act as a tool in the matters involving public authorities. This would help them become responsible citizens.”
 
By the way, all the state run institutions falling under the meaning of Public Authority defined under section 2(h) of the RTI Act are also obliged to provide answer-sheets under this transparency law. 
 
Here is the order passed by the Supreme Court in CBSE matter…
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
 

User

COMMENTS

Sudhakar Ojha

3 months ago

I think if this is extrapolated to all tests like online tests the testing system could get destroyed as the question bank would get revealed. RTI may need moderation.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. Most of us particularly, the politicians have their own guidelines which they observe. The rule of law, should be observed by all modern civilized societies.

33 out of 44 posts of teachers vacant at JJ School of Arts
In what may be called as a shocking revelation, Mumbai-based Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art, the oldest art institution in the city, is functioning with just about 25% of sanctioned strength of teachers. According to information procured by Anil Galgali under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, at present almost 33 out of 44 posts of professors and lecturers are lying vacant in the internationally renowned institute.
 
RTI activist Galgali had sought information about the total faculty positions and the status from Sir JJ School of Art. Replying to his query, the Public Information Officer and Registrar Alka Chavan informed that, seven out of the eight posts of the professors are lying vacant and 26 of the 36 posts for lecturers are also vacant. Similarly, six posts of ad-hoc lecturers and nine posts of contract lecturers are functional as interim arrangements. 
 
The position of ad-hoc Lecturers is functioning since 1993, but after a court order, these posts were regularised since 1997. On the query as to who is responsible for filling the vacant positions, Galgali was informed that the Director at the Directorate of Arts and Culture fills the post of professors and lecturers in Sir JJ School of Art.
 
Expressing surprise at the utter neglect shown by Directorate of Arts and Culture towards appointment of professors and lecturers, Galgali has demanded action against those responsible for the delay. Galgali, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also demanded that the vacant posts at Sir JJ School of Art should be filled up urgently. "The neglect exhibited by the Director of Directorate of Arts and Culture is in contrast to the aims of the government for promotion of art and will have a negative impact on the aims of the government," he said.
 

User

COMMENTS

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. The government should initiate proper steps, to attract the right talent in the teaching profession, by making it attractive. Many consider teaching among the noble professions, so as to ensure that in future we get talented youngsters as professionals.

Reliance Capital raises USD 300 mn via private placement
Reliance Capital, a part of the Anil-Ambani-led group, on Tuesday said it has raised USD 300 million through private placement of debentures with a tenure of 5 and 10 years.
 
"The issue size offered was $ 150 million with an option to retain oversubscription by way of a greenshoe option of up to $150 million). The issue was fully subscribed, including the greenshoe option, and will be listed," the company said in a regulatory filing.
 
"The funds will be used to refinance existing debt and grow our lending business. Our debt-equity remains at a conservative 1.7 -- among the lowest in the non-banking financial services sector," said Sam Ghosh, Executive Director and Group Chief Executive of Reliance Capital.
 
"We will continue to maintain a healthy asset liability mix, and provide optimally priced funds for our high growth lending businesses."
 
The secured redeemable non-convertible debentures have an annual coupon rate of 8.9 per cent for 5 years, and 9 per cent for 10 years.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)