NEW DELHI: A deficit of over Rs 200 crore in conducting board examination for class 10 and 12 has forced the CBSE to hike fees, according to officials.
Early board results, measures to make examination leak proof and error-free evaluation have imposed a financial burden on the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), they said.
The passing on the responsibility of conducting competitive examinations like the JEE and the NEET to the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA) has also left it in a fund crunch, the officials said.
The CBSE last week notified an increase in the examination fees for class 10 and 12, registration fees for class 9 and 11 and migration fees.
"The fee hikes are required for self sustenance, and to maintain the quality in examination, evaluation and overcome a financial deficit of around Rs 200 crore," the board's secretary Anurag Tripathi said.
The CBSE spends around Rs 500 crore annually to conduct examinations for class 10 and 12, according to him.
"There has been a deficit of around Rs 200 crore every year in the past few years. However, we were able to neutralise that deficit by conducting competitive examinations, including the JEE and the NEET, but these have now been passed on to the HRD Ministry's National Testing Agency," Tripathi said.
"Hence, we have no option, but to increase fees. We cannot compromise the quality of examination," he said.
The CBSE is an autonomous and self-financing body and the move will now bring it to a no profit no loss situation, the board's secretary said.
"The decision to hike fees was taken after due consideration of all factors by the Governing Body of the CBSE and the fees has been increased after a gap of five years," he added.
Last week, the fees for Class 10 and 12 general category students was doubled from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for five subjects.
SC and ST students in Delhi, who were paying Rs 375 earlier, will now pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects.
In a special arrangement in the national capital, these students were paying only Rs 50, while the Delhi government was paying the rest of the amount as subsidy.
The CBSE's examination cost has seen a huge increase due to several measures, including deployment of over 5,000 observers and deputy superintendents at all centres to ensure there is no cheating, Tripathi said.
He said cost increased as there was a 40 per cent increase in the number of evaluators.
Due to this, "we were able to deliver the result one month early this year, increase in honorarium of evaluators and proper training of evaluators to ensure zero errors in evaluation process," Tripathi said.
Besides these, there has been an increase in expenses due to the introduction of technological interventions in conducting examinations as well as evaluation, he said.
These steps will definitely improve the quality but will add to the financial burden, Tripathi said.