College cut-offs may fall as HRD plans end to grace marks

PUBLISH DATE 14th April 2017

The cutoffs for undergraduate admissions may come down if a consensus is reached among the various education boards in the country on the practice of awarding grace marks.

The ministry of human resources development is planning to consult the states on scrapping the practice of awarding grace marks in certain papers if the questions are deemed to have been difficult.

The move comes after the CBSE had in December 2016 resolved to seek MHRD's help to get all the state boards to develop a consensus on ending the marks moderation policy which leads to inflation of scores. Under the “moderation“ policy , examinees are awarded up to 15% extra marks in certain papers if the questions are deemed to have been difficult. In July 2016, TOI highlighted how CBSE gave as many as 16 extra marks in the Class XII maths exam this year in the all India set of papers and 15 marks in the Delhi set during the process of standardisation. In nine subjects, marks were `standardised' by CBSE by more than 10%. As a result of the standar disation, a student with 77 marks in mathematics may have ended up getting 93 marks on the result sheet. Similarly, a student of business studies who would have otherwise got 80 marks, may have finally got as much as 92 marks in the subject.

A senior CBSE official said a unilateral scrapping of moderation would put its students at a disadvantage during undergraduate admissions and considered it important that all state boards agree to it.

According to a HRD official, “A meeting of all state education secretaries and chairpersons of state boards has been called on April 24 and the issue is likely to be taken up there. The recommendations by the CBSE will be taken into account and we will see if a consensus can be arrived at with the states.“