The Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has started the refund process of the examination fees collected from students of classes 10 and 12 for the board examinations 2021. Since the physical examinations got cancelled due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board decided to partially refund the exam fees.
Schools and junior colleges have been asked to provide a detailed list of students who had registered for the HSC and SSC 2021 exams. The fees refund by the board will be transferred to the school’s bank account which then will be further in charge of handing it over to the students, reported the Times of India.
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The decision to refund the examination fees was taken after a retired principal from Sangli district filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking a refund of examination fees since they were cancelled. The petitioner highlighted that the board had collected nearly 150 crores from nearly 34 students as examination fees and not returning would amount to profiteering. The HC found merit in the argument and had directed the board to consider the pleas.
On November 11, the board finally decided to refund 14 per cent of class 10 and 18 per cent of class 12 examination fees. Hence, class 10 students who had paid Rs 415 as exam fees will be getting a Rs 59 refund whereas class 12 candidates will get a Rs 94 refund against their Rs 520 payment for exam fees, however, students who had appeared for the supplementary exams in October will not be entitled to the refund.
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Explaining the reason behind only the partial refund, board officials said that though the exams were cancelled, expenses were incurred in the preparation for the impending exams.
A similar plea filed by parents asking for refunds from other state boards was dismissed by the Supreme Court in August. The bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari stated that boards had already made preparation for conducting the exams but the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a lot of disruption.
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