State Examination Board is an ‘educational institution’ in so far as it provides services by way of conduct of exams:AAR
M/s State Examination Board was established by the Gujarat Education Department in 1966 to arrange and conduct examinations. The Board was declared ‘autonomous’ by the Education Department in 1999 and was also registered under Societies Registration Act 1860.
The applicant sought a ruling from GAAR with respect to the list of 23 exams, that whether the applicant is eligible to claim exemption benefit under Sr.No.5 and Sr. No. 66(a) & (aa) of Notification No.12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) whereby the GAAR, ruled that the applicant is eligible to claim exemption benefit under Sr.No.5 of Notification No.12/2017-Central Tax(Rate)in respect of services supplied for the exams at Sr.No.9 to 15 of the list of exams. However, no such exemption is available in respect of services supplied for other exams.
Aggrieved by the advance ruling issued by the GAAR for the remaining 16 exams, the appellant has filed an appeal under section 100 of the CGST Act and GGST Act. The authority held that these exams do not provide employment to the successful candidates, only makes the successful candidates eligible for the posts of the jobs of teachers or lecturers.
To avail the benefit of exemption, there should be a specific curriculum for the given education course or programme; the examination of the said education course/programme leads to attaining qualification which is recognised by the law for the purpose of achieving eligibility for the appointment in a specific job, and the given institution should assign the task of conducting an examination of such education course or programme. As all criteria are complied with and the State Examination Board being the ‘educational institution’ in so far as it provides services by way of conduct of exams at Sr. No. 1 to 12 in the list given in para 26 above, it is observed that the appellant is eligible to avail of the benefit of exemption under Sl. No. 66 (aa) of Notifications No.12/2017 – Central Tax (Rate) 7 for exams at Sr. No. 1 to 12.
In the instant case, the AAR held that the activity of conducting examinations by the appellant squarely falls under Heading 9992 and further held that the ‘State Examination Board’ can be considered as a “Governmental Authority”. On the issue that whether the activities carried out by the appellant i.e. the conducting of examinations are in relation to any functions entrusted to a panchayat under Article 243G of the Constitution it was held that this education programme i.e. Diploma in Home Science and GCC Type Steno, are not being recognised by any law, so cannot, by any stretch of imagination be considered as functions entrusted to a Panchayat under article 243G of the Constitution. Therefore, the appellant is not eligible to avail of the benefit of exemption under Sl. No. 5 of Notifications No. 12/2017 – Central Tax for exams at Sr. No. 13 to 14 in the list.
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