Students Right to know - The effect of RTI Act as a tool for accessing the result of HSC Examination by one Anupam Jena S/o-Anjan Jena, Balubazar, Cuttack.

Problem faced by the applicant :-
The culture in State of Odisha places a high priority on education and as such students are serious in their studies and their performance in HSC examination is given top priority. Sometimes bright students were suffering due to improper evaluation of answer sheet, leading to awarding of marks not commensurate with actual performance of Candidates the examination in the Academic Year 2014-15. No defined transparency in evaluation of papers was in place.

Duration :-
Start Date :-28-11-2014
End Date :-28-11-2015

Utilization of RTI act as a tool by the applicant :-
More than six lakhs of students appear at the Board of Secondary Education(BSE), Odisha in annual examination. One student named Anupam Jena aged 15 (Fiteen) years S/o- Anjan Jena of Balubazar Cuttack appeared at the board examination and being aggrieved with his result lodged a RTI application under the provisions of RTI Act before the Public Information Officer(PIO) Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Balu Bazaar, Cuttack; to know about the marks he secured. As he was not satisfied with the reply he approached the Hon,ble Odisha State Information Commission and the State Informatin Commission, Odisha, after deciding the case directed the Board of Secondary Education Odisha to provide photo copy of answer sheets to those candidates who are applying in this regard. There after the BSE Odisha is providing photo copies of answer sheets to those candidates who are applying. With the Direction of the State Information Commission, now BSE is also providing an online facility for checking of addition of marks as well as for supply of photo copy of evaluation answer sheet . Thus RTI Act helped the students adversely affected by the faulty evaluation process and facilitated student’s rights to know.

Content of Success Story :-
Extremely bright 15 years old Anupam Jena was confident of securing good marks in HSC Examination . When the results were declared, the marks were far below his expectations. Not only in his case, there were hundreds of other students suffering, demoralized and lamenting on the marks scored. There was no mechanism to have a transparent evaluation. The whole year of hard toil, constant efforts on the part of the student was in vain. Anupam and his parents took the bold step of registering their case under RTI Act. Anupam’s father Anjan applied for details of the evaluation as well as copies of the answer sheets from the District Inspector of Schools (DI) under the Right to Information Act. Through this, he could see his exam papers, which showed the marks have not been awarded against many answers and confirmed serious flaws in the evaluation process. . “It is a clear case of lackadaisical attitude of the examiner, who seemed to have given marks whimsically without reading the answers,” his father Anjan Jena said. Further, the answer papers did not have the mandatory signature of the Chief Examiner nor the marks for different questions brought onto the main pages. The Circle Inspector of Schools has called for a report from District Inspector of Schools in this connection and asked for taking action against the erring officials accordingly.

Process :-
The RTI case of Anupam Jena was lodged at Saraswati Sishu Mandir Balu Bazaar Cuttack in Form No. A. The concerned Public Information Officer transferred this case to Board of Secondary Education Cuttack (BSE). The BSE did not take a appropriate action on this matter. Consequently the applicant filed a petition before the Honorable High Court Odisha Cuttack. The Hon’ble High Court directed the Board of Secondary Education for rechecking of the Paper. Again the result was negative. His father became helpless. He asked again for a copy of the rechecked answer sheet through RTI Act to the Board. The Board did not provide the satisfactory information. He then appealed to the Hon’ble Odisha Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner directed the Board to provide copy of the answer sheet and he got the copy of the answer sheet and subsequently got his marks corrected.

Output/Outcomes :-
On the direction of State Information Commission, the Board of Secondary Education came out with a notification and circular that any student can apply for rechecking and photo copy of answer sheet after the publishing of the result. They have also launched an online facility for checking and addition of marks/supply of photo copies of answer books.

Conclusion/Abstract of Success Story :-
Every year, hundreds of students, teachers and parents have been complaining about evaluation of answer sheets not being done properly and the Board office is flooded with applications for re-addition of marks. Many students commit suicide complaining that they deserved much more marks than what has been awarded to them. It has been observed that due to several RTI cases like that of Anupam Jena, finally a regulation has beenframed by Board of Secondary Education. Keeping this and the provisions under RTI Act in mind, student’s rights were placed at prime importance. Now they have an online facility for checking and addition of marks. This step will bring a lot of motivation to the student community in Odisha who appear at the board examination every year.

Mrs Jayashree Mohanty, President Luminous Infoways Postal Address: Sadhana N/6 373, Nayapalli, Jayd

Attachment :-

RTI CMM is a Central Monitoring Mechanism by Govt. of Odisha to ensure the implementation of Right to Information Act, 2005 at all public authorities of Govt. of Odisha. This is developed with an objective to provide single point access of all RTI related information catering to Section-4, Section-25 of RTI Act, 2005 in an uniform manner. This project is monitored by Department of Information & Public Relations, Govt. of Odisha [Nodal Department of Govt. of Odisha for RTI Implementation] in collaboration with Luminous Infoways. Content on this website is published by respective public authorities and managed by Information & Public Relations Department, Govt. of Odisha. For any query regarding this website please contact Web Information Leader : Sri Basant Kumar Mohanty, Chief Monitoring Officer , RTI Implementation, Odisha. e-mail: rti-ori[at]nic[dot]in.