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Board hikes HSC exam fee

Cuttack, Jan. 5: Students appearing for Class X High School Certificate (HSC) examination, slated to be held in March 2010, will have to shell out more with the Orissa Board of Secondary Education (OBSE) deciding to hike the examination fee by nearly 50 per cent.

The examination fee has been increased from Rs 163 to Rs 244 for regular students and from Rs 220 to Rs 315 for ex-regular students, a board resolution said late on Monday. The students will have to cough up the money at the time of filling up of exams.

Around five lakh students from 7,447 high schools across the state are set to take the exam this year. The process of filling up of forms is scheduled to start from January 12..

Opposing the decision, the Congress today demanded that the board roll back the hike. It threatened to launch an agitation if their demand is not fulfilled.

The All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) has also demanded a roll-back. “We also want a waiver of examination fee for students of drought-hit districts,” said Sibashis Praharaj, the secretary of Cuttack unit of AIDSO. The outfit took out a rally and staged a demonstration participated by a large number of school students before the OBSE headquarters in Cuttack on Monday to press for its demands.

The board, however, justified that the increase in examination fee had become imperative in view of the wide gap between expenditure and collection. While the expenditure incurred for conducting the HSC exam was more than Rs 15 crore, collection from exam fee was less than Rs 10 crore.

Besides, the exam fee was not increased for the past six years whereas guidelines permitted a hike every three years, OBSE officials said.

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