The New CBSE School Affiliation System, School Affiliation Re-Engineered Automation System (SARAS) - an Overview

The national board has come up with a new and improved mechanism for streamlining the entire process of affiliation which is purportedly designed to enhance the ease of doing business with the board. It is obvious that such an intervention was required and needed. There was a feeling among the school promoters that the affiliation system was rife with formalities that resulted in duplication of efforts and unnecessary anxiety that derived from the compact timelines. The new affiliation system has virtually made the process of afflation application a yearlong process by opening the affiliation window thrice a year. 

New CBSE Affiliation

Moving towards a light but tight regulatory framework as envisaged by the NEP 2020, the affiliation system of the CBSE is going to be time and resource efficient. There might be some relaxation in the physical and infrastructural requirements for the applicant schools, however as of now the infrastructure bye-laws remain as they were.  

To achieve efficiency, the entire system of affiliation of schools has been re-engineered based on the adoption of AI and machine learning. The affiliation system has an acronym SARAS—School Affiliation Re-engineered Automation System. Notably, the CBSE affiliation system went completely online in 2006 when OSAMS i.e. Online School Affiliation Management System was put in place. 

The board has placed emphasis on the ease of doing business and transparency in transactions. To achieve these objectives, the affiliation system has moved towards automation in a big way, and to achieve transparency both the affiliated and applicant schools will have their financial, academic and operational documents and details published on the CBSE website and on the respective websites of the schools. The idea of public self-disclosure appears in the NEP document and the self-certification of documents and the disclosure of regulatory information and educational outcomes are aimed at enhancing accountability of the institutions. 

Additionally, the board is planning to dispose the affiliation cases within 4 months of application and the documents submitted by the schools will be machine read to achieve time efficiency. The provision of automated approvals has also been given in cases like extension of affiliation, addition of sections etc. such approvals will be data-driven.  Other features that will enable the board of make the affiliation process time-efficient is the provision of virtual inspection. The applicants will self-certify the documents at the time of making applications and all the transactions with the board will be digitally documented enabling the schools to know the progress of their case at any given point. 

While applying for CBSE affiliation, the applicant schools will be required to fill a KYC form online and thereafter proceed with the application. The schools will be required to upload digital signatures and self-certify documents at the time of application. The documents that are required to make an application for affiliation are—

    1. The No-Objection Certificate—the NoC has to be acquired form the department of education of the district. The NoC is to the effect that the state has no objection to the school’s affiliation to the CBSE. 

    2. The School Recognition Certificate—to be obtained by the state department of education 

    3. Land certificate –as per the affiliation bye-laws appendix X

    4. Fire Safety Certificate—to be issued by the fire safety department 

    5. Building Safety Certificate—to be issued by the competent government authority and empaneled engineers 

    6. Certificate of Registration Trust/Society/Company that proposes to run the school 


There basically will be the following components of the affiliation application for a school applying for a fresh affiliation, for those applying for extension or up gradation, there is a little variation —

The KYC-- involving the pre-registration of the School 

Part A—the details and documents along with the links for public self-disclosure, system generated self-certification certificate countersigned by the Principal/Manager and counter-signing by the trust/society signatory or system generated DEO Certificate countersigned by DEO administration, and fee payment 

Part B—School details and fee payment 

Part C—to be filed by schools applying for affiliation, switch-over form other boards to CBSE, middle school approval after getting affiliation 

Post-application, the candidature of the school will be analyzed by AI and Machine Learning based systems which will take into account the affiliation norms and the analysis will be data-driven based on the Part A of the application, if the mandatory requirements are adjudged as met by the system, the applicant shall be allowed to move to Part B of the application.  

The schools are advised to keep the OASIS—Online Affiliation School Information System database updated as fields will be populated automatically based on the OASIS information. 

While this is a brief overview of the affiliation process and the idea behind the restructuring of the affiliation process, the ease that it will promote will be apparent after more and more schools use it, certainly the system evolves from experience. 


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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