SHRI AMAR PATNAIK (Odisha):A crucial component of the Right to Education is accreditation from an educational board of the completion of
school education. In August 2019, the Central Board of Secondary Education increased the fee to be remitted by Class X and XII candidates for both general, as well as SC & ST category taking its qualifying certificate examinations. The fee was increased from Rs. 750 to Rs. 1500 for General Category and from Rs. 50 to Rs. 1200 for SC/ST. This, in a country where the GDP per capita is only 2,015.6 USD (World Bank, 2018) and growth is coming below 6 per cent, is abnormal. Also, a universal late fee (Rs. 2000/-) was prescribed for candidates failing to register by September 30th. CBSE certificates are important authentications of the education and identity of school-going children. The revised fee is most onerous on poor students and punishes them for not
having access to the requisite money by the deadline. Furthermore, the manifold fee increase for SC/ST students has left many of them with the prospect of dropping out or shifting to another board. For comparison, the registration fee for Odisha HSC for Class X in 2019 for regular students is Rs. 320 and the late fine is Rs. 50. The hon. Chief Minister of Odisha had written to the Ministry of HRD regarding this shocking and abnormal fee hike and the consequent hardship to the underprivileged. I demand that the arbitrary fee increase be rolled back in the interest of our students.