Bhubaneswar: Following a demand by the Parents Association for action on the decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to hike the exam fees for Class X and Class XII students, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday sought intervention of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and wrote a letter to the Centre.
In a letter to Union HRD Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Patnaik wrote, “The CBSE has recently made a sharp hike in the examination fees of Class X and Class XII students, causing resentment among parents and other stake holders. The abnormal rise, specifically in the fees in respect of SC and ST students by 24 times has come as a shock.”
Odisha government has opened more than 200 English medium model schools which are affiliated to CBSE in rural areas for the benefit of economically and socially under-privileged sections of society.
“Therefore, I request to prevail upon CBSE to reconsider their decision in the interest of people,” said Patnaik in his letter.
Earlier, the Parents Association has strongly condemned the CBSE move Sunday. While the hike is from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200 for SC and ST students, it has been doubled from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for five subjects for general category students.
The SC and ST students, who were paying Rs 350 earlier, are now supposed to pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects. In a special arrangement only for Delhi, the SC/ST students were only paying Rs 50, while the balance was paid by the Delhi government.
Basudev Bhatt, chairman of the association,said, “We have strongly opposed the decision and request the Chief Minister to write a letter to the Union HRD Ministry to order the CBSE to withdraw this hike.”
“We had also written a letter to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in this regard,” he added.
“Apart from examination fee, the CBSE has also imposed a late fee of Rs 2,000 per candidate. It is illegal to impose late fee for poor and needy students,” said the Parents Association or the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha in a statement.
For appearing in an additional subject in Class X or Class XII, both SC and ST and general category students will now have to pay Rs 300. Earlier, it was not charged for SC & ST students.
Expressing concern over the CBSE decision, Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das Monday said the hike will ‘hit’ the parents.