Following CBSE's decision to scrap its marks moderation policy, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has said it was up to various state education boards to take a final call on the practice of awarding grace marks to students in exams for difficult questions.
“It is a good decision (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 on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.
“All boards should not be in a race to increase marks and any sky-touching grade should be replaced with genuine scores. The boards should not keep inflating marks in competition, this should not happen.
“A good consensus has been developed. Let's see how it progresses. I will take a brief on the meeting,” he added.
In a major decision, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had yesterday scrapped the marks moderation policy.
According to a senior HRD Ministry official, “A consensus has been developed but how to implement it, is the states' prerogative. They can't be forced to implement it, the decision though consensual, is just suggestive in nature.”
The CBSE had in 1992 adopted the practice of awarding grace marks of up to 15 per cent in certain papers if the questions are deemed to be difficult.
The CBSE had in December last requested the HRD Ministry to help develop a consensus among all state boards on scrapping the marks moderation policy which is considered as the reason behind very high scores in board exam results.
The CBSE had opined that a unilateral scrapping of the policy would put its students at a disadvantage during undergraduate admissions and considered it important that all state boards agree to it.
If the states also decide to adopt the policy, then the cut-offs for admission to colleges are likely to go down.
However, the practice of awarding grace marks will continue to ensure that a student clears an exam if he or she needs a few marks to do so.