Revoking the earlier rule that was not in use for long, the CBSE has recently reinforced its mandatory no-objection certificate (NOC) rule for schools seeking affiliation.
Henceforth, schools will have to furnish not only their state's NOC but also a certificate of recognition while submitting an affiliation application. In 2013, the NOC rule had been called off earlier after the then minister of state for human resources development Shashi Tharoor suggested it increases harassment of schools by state education officials.
The purpose of NOC is that every school starts off as a state board affiliate. When their students progress to Std VIII, CBSE starts accepting affiliation requests for letting those students to attend for Std X board exams.
While enrolling those students, CBSE asks for a NOC for change of board from the state education department. Taking action in the direction of Tharoor's suggestion, the CBSE amended its affiliation policy in July 2013.
Tharoor, was however concerned about the complications of the older rule. Several complaints were raised from across the country that state education departments purposely delayed issuing of NOCs, thus leading to cases of bribery.
A state education official, who had not seen CBSE's latest order, welcomed the move. "I will have to check in detail about what exactly it says, but on face value it seems to be a great move. It's ludicrous to assume that state officials are corrupt, hence NOC powers must be taken away. In fact, the NOC system will help CBSE because we will stop defaulter schools from shifting to their board," he said.
"I was informed about an incident where state education officials asked for bribes to grant the NOC. So this system is similar to our licence raj era and needs to be done away with," Tharoor said in 2013.
Some principals feel that the state education department would have protested the undermining of their officials in such a crucial decision.