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Answer sheet photocopy option finds few takers

The scheme of making photocopies of Stds X and XII answer sheets available to students on demand, which was initiated by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (MSBSHSE) this year, has received limited response with only 2,211 applications coming in from Pune division.

On the backdrop of the Supreme Court hearing, the MSBSHSE started the scheme this year wherein students could demand photocopies of their answer sheets through the Right To Information (RTI) Act. The MSBSHSE was charging Rs 400 per subject and students could apply for photocopies of multiple subjects.

Joint Secretary of MSBSHSE’s Pune division, Anil Gunjal, shared this year statistics. Pune division consists of Pune, Ahmadnagar and Solpur districts and has around 4 lakh students of Stds X and XII, who have appeared for the Feb-March board exam this academic year. A total of 693 Std X students utilised the option and after revaluation of answer sheets, the results of 10 students were changed from fail to pass, while the marks of 61 students were increased and 622 students got a ‘No Change’ remark.

For Std XII, the number is higher with a total of 1,528 students. Out of this, seven fail students were converted to pass. The marks of 66 students were increased and 1,455 students received ‘No Change’ remark.

“For Std XII, most applicants were from the science stream. Only students having very low scores or unexpected results applied for photo copies of their marks sheets,” said Gunjal.

He added that Pune division state board has proved successful, as the number of cases of result change was not too high.

“This proved the accuracy with which school and junior college teachers of Pune division checked the answer sheets,” Gunjal said.

The fee that was charged for each subject met with some criticism.

“Charging Rs 400 for photocopies of each subject is too high. The board has started the scheme through the RTI Act and yet it was charging so much. This is not an affordable option for a middle class parent,” said the principal of a school, on condition of anonymity.

Some students avoided utilising the option because of the cost it entailed.

“I was very excited about applying for photocopies of answer sheets of all subjects after my Std XII exams.

But then I came to know that the board was charging Rs 400 per subject. Though I was not satisfied with my marks for two subjects, I chose not to apply because of the high fee,” said Nitish Topkar.  

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