In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, brought into effect from 31st August 2017, by the Prime Ministers office(PMO), Anita Karwal was appointed as the chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE). She replaces Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi who has been appointed as Director General of National Skill Development Agency. As many as 17 bureaucrats have been reshuffled in various departments, the most significant one being Anita Karwal’s appointment following the controversial term of Rajesh K Chaturvedi.
Anita Karwal: She is a Gujarat cadre IAS officer and served as the Chief Electoral Officer in Gujarat during the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Before the appointment as the head of CBSE, she was an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi: He is a 1987 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. He was appointed as the Chairperson of CBSE in July 2016 for five years but was replaced after working for just about a year. His term was marred by the Board is the center of many controversies.
Controversial Term of Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi:
- NEET question paper row: There was an allegation against CBSE for setting up different question papers for English and regional languages with regional language papers being more difficult In the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). NEET conducts admission test for medical colleges. It was alleged that the exam is hence discriminatory against state boards. Many students have committed suicide, allegedly failing due to the tough regional language papers, thus increasing the problems faced by the board.
- CBSE scraps the Marks Moderation policy in Class 12th: The policy grants grace marks to students who are failing the board exam by a small margin. It also grants grace marks to students, if enough complaints are received regarding an extra difficult question paper.
- A committee is set up in the latter case to decide the grace marks to be awarded. Due to this policy, marks of students gets a further boost.
- Scrapping this policy then certainly means a fall in the marks of CBSE students which would limit their chances of better college prospects. With the cases of cheating and bonus marks being awarded to State Boards, the students in CBSE boards schools perceive themselves to be at an unfair disadvantage.
For both the issues mentioned above, the government is facing lawsuits in court.
- CBSE was also criticised for temporarily suspending the National Eligibility Test (NET) for the first time in 33 years. NET is the basis through which university and college teachers are recruited. RK Chaturvedi wrote to the HRD ministry citing overload of other exams as the reason for the Board’s inability to hold the test.