The Central Board of Secondary Education and 31 other school boards have decided to scrap the “marks moderation”, or grace marks, policy from this year, PTI reported on Tuesday. The decision was made at a high-level meeting chaired by School Education Secretary Anil Swarup on Monday.
Students are usually awarded up to 15% extra marks in some subjects to compensate for the tough questions asked during exams. The inflated scores, in turn, force colleges to set their cut-off marks at 100%. However, the practice of awarding grace marks will continue if a student needs a few marks to clear an examination. But these extra marks will be disclosed on the candidate’s marksheet, reported The Indian Express.
CBSE has also decided to set the same question paper for all its affiliated schools. Earlier, schools in the Delhi region were given one question paper, while candidates appearing from the rest of the country had to answer a different set of questions. “There will be a common question paper for all CBSE-affiliated schools,” an official told The Indian Express.
The Human Resources Development Ministry has been mulling over the policy since December last year. The ministry believes that scrapping the policy will also reduce the pressure on students appearing for Class 12 exams. In December 2016, the CBSE had sought the HRD Ministry’s help to build consensus among all boards to end this practice. Between 2008 and 2014, the policy had raised the number of top scorers in CBSE with 95% aggregate marks.
Monday’s meeting was attended by representatives of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations and the National Institute of Open School, as well as representatives from the states boards of Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
Kerala, however, has sought a year’s time to scrap the policy. The central board explained that if all school boards do not adopt the new policy, students from those that do will be in a disadvantageous position during undergraduate admissions.