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CBSE boss removed

The government today abruptly removed Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi as chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) amid controversies surrounding the national school board, four years before his tenure was to end.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 1.09.17
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Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi

New Delhi, Aug. 31: The government today abruptly removed Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi as chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) amid controversies surrounding the national school board, four years before his tenure was to end.

Chaturvedi has been replaced by Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Anita Karwal, who was an additional secretary in the human resource development ministry.

Chaturvedi, a Madhya Pradesh-cadre officer, will take over as director-general of the National Skill Development Agency, a post not as sought-after as that of CBSE chairperson.

Chaturvedi had been appointed CBSE chief in July last year for five years.

His one-year stint was marked by a series of controversies such as errors in the evaluation of Class XII board exam papers, inflating of marks, alleged setting of tough questions in the NEET to select students for medical courses, asking affiliated schools to follow only those textbooks that are published by the NCERT and the directive to schools to furnish details about their fees and facilities.

Last month, the CBSE withdrew a directive issued by its regional office asking its affiliated schools to recommend NCERT books after the order was stayed by Madras High Court.

On July 24, MPs from Bengal and Tamil Nadu had complained about tough questions being asked to students taking the NEET in their mother tongue.

In the aftermath of complaints of errors in evaluation, the CBSE set up two committees to inquire into the process of identifying and analysing discrepancies and suggesting corrective measures.

Complaints about poor marking and mistakes in adding up marks have been received from across the country. Of the 11 lakh students who took the Class XII exam, nearly 2.47 per cent applied for verification of answer scripts.

The CBSE was also criticised for its policy of moderation of marks under which the board gave extra marks to every student subject to a ceiling of 95 in a paper. Although Chaturvedi was against this policy, the decision to discontinue it was taken at a meeting in April. Delhi High Court set aside the eleventh-hour decision.

Chaturvedi had gone against the government's wishes and decided to hold the National Eligibility Test once a year instead of twice. The NET is conducted to select assistant professors.

He had told the HRD ministry that the CBSE could not hold the NET because it was burdened with many exams.