In past six years, there has been a considerable 20% hike in number of students who attained 95% and above marks. Every year somewhere around 2 crore students appear in class 10 and about 1.5 crore in class 12 public exams conducted by 42 education boards. Considering the same, universities and colleges had to ultimately increase the cut offs for admission. Due to all this, students with average performance have been left standing in the middle of ocean. The two options left with them are; either to drop the year or to seek admission in some private college charging a heavy fees.
The admission cut-offs every year in universities is sky-rocketing, so HRD ministry has called a meeting of 42 all-India and state school education boards on 28 October to discuss ‘how to check the trend of soaring board exam scores’. The main aim behind the meeting is to lay emphasis over moderation of marks in Class 12 board exams and on the need for boards to be strict in awarding marks and reconsider the practice of grace marking.
More issues on the agenda that ought to be discussed in the meeting includes : existing system of setting question papers, marking pattern, evaluation, rechecking, retotalling, revaluation and laying down guidelines to prevent cheating in examination.
One HRD ministry official said, “Around 8,917 of 12 lakh students who took the Central Board for Secondary Education’s (CBSE) class 12 board exams this year had secured more than 95%. The first cut-off for admission to leading Delhi University colleges has for years been set above 95%.” Further he added, “It will be discussed whether we need grace marking at all. Also in moderation – the board decides that certain questions in a particular paper were too difficult and awards full marks to everybody against them thus leading to inflation of marks.”
Further down the agenda, moderation of marks is a common practice adopted to ‘bring uniformity in the evaluation process’. In other words, marks scored by students are tweaked to align the marking standards of different examiners. It is also expected on the part of ministry to persuade all-India and State Boards to declare their Class 12 results well on time and within an agreed deadline so that further admission processes of IITs and NITs do not get delayed.
Need for JEE Advanced will also be discussed in the meeting. Main point being is it really necessary to conduct JEE Advanced exam or the merit lists of IITs can be prepared on the basis of JEE Main exam only. Another points planned to be discussed in the meeting includes : linking the syllabus and examination pattern for classes 10 and 12, entrance examinations for admission to medical and engineering colleges, a relook at the teaching-learning process in classrooms and the implementation of continuous comprehensive evaluation.