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ICSE, ISC win script review reprieve

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examinations will not go the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary way.

And it’s not just a matter of curriculum or method of teaching, but also the review of contentious answer-scripts.

Calcutta High Court on Monday upheld the existing norms of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, which conducts the ICSE and ISC exams, not to review the answer-scripts of aggrieved candidates.

This is in sharp contrast to the West Bengal Board for Secondary Education and the Higher Secondary Council, which have been repeatedly sent scrambling by the court to reassess scripts of students seeking redress.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice A. Banerjee, on Monday, set aside an order of Justice P.K. Roy of the high court, asking the Council to reassess the script of a student who obtained identical marks in three papers in ISC 2003.

While allowing the petition filed by the Council, the court observed that it should not interfere with the internal norms framed by the body conducting the examination, that allowed for scrutiny, not reassessment.

Masudul Haque, of St Thomas School for Boys, Kidderpore, scored 58 marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics, and petitioned the Council to reassess the answer-scripts. When the Council turned down his plea, Masudul filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court. Justice Roy passed a directive last week, asking the Council to reassess the answer-scripts. The Council then filed an appeal before the division bench.

Reacting to the verdict, Ranajit Chatterjee, counsel for the Higher Secondary Council, said: “If, in the case of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, the court has upheld its own norms, then we see no reason why a different set of directives was given in our case.

“There is no rule for the examination-conducting agencies to place the answer-script before the candidates. But it was done by us only to obey the order of the court,” Chatterjee observed.

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