CBSE circular that demanded students and staff information challenged in High Court

The Delhi High Court has asked for response from the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) while considering a plea challenging the circular that asked affiliated schools to share personal information of the school staff, and students on the Online Affiliated School Information System (OASIS).

The plea was filed by Forum for Promotion of Quality, a body representing private schools. Upon hearing the plea, Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the CBSE. The forum has also challenged the CBSE move that called for a fine of Rs. 50,000 payable by the schools that fail to submit the data on the OASIS online.

Among the issues taken with the CBSE directive are the requirement to submit the Aadhaar details of the teachers and the staff of the school on Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE).

The plaintiff argued that the move of CBSE is in contravention with the Right to Privacy on which the Supreme Court has ruled earlier.

CBSE has not yet commented or made any response on the subject.

The petitioners have argued that the board has exceeded its brief by making the said move which infringes upon the autonomy of the private affiliated schools. It has also been stated that the CBSE has unrightfully assumed the legal authority by issuing administrative circulars.

The petition read “it is not within the purview of CBSE to issue this kind of administrative orders which are beyond its objectives and have no correlation whatsoever with the purpose behind its constitution and functioning. CBSE has transgressed its boundaries and has gone beyond the purpose for which it has been constituted.”

The argument was put forth that the functions of CBSE which include the conducting of examination, academics and training are in no way dependent upon having the sensitive personal data at its disposal. The information asked by the board is sensitive and in-depth and if put on public domain can jeopardize the interest of the teachers, staff and the students, the petition added.

Further, it is also stated that post recognition by the Directorate of Education (DoE) display of information on the website of DoE, is not warranted. The matter was up for hearing.

This episode is reminiscent of the one in which the Govt. of Delhi had sought Aadhaar and Voter ID details of the students and their guardians purportedly to ascertain the domicile of the students. It is instructive to know that the orders were rescinded after the intervention of the apex court.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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