Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said state education board’s would be the final authority on awarding grace marks to students for difficult examinations, PTI reported. He clarified that the decision taken the decision to scrap the policy was “like a suggestion’.

His statement follows the announcement that the Central Board of Secondary Education and 31 other school boards had decided to scrap the “marks moderation”, or grace marks, policy from this year. “It is a good decision [taken by the CBSE]. Several states have been taken on board, a consensus has been developed. But the final decision will be of the states, this is just like a suggestion,” Javadekar told reporters. “All boards should not be in a race to increase marks and any sky-touching grade should be replaced with genuine scores,” the minister said.

In 1992, the CBSE had adopted the practice of awarding grace marks of up to 15% in certain papers if the questions were deemed difficult, PTI reported. In December 2016, the CBSE had sought the HRD Ministry’s intervention to develop a consensus among state boards with regard to the scrapping of the marks moderation policy. The initiative is believed to be a major factor in the high scores secured by students in their board 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.