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Should state boards revise Class 12 marks after Delhi HC's directive to CBSE?

Priyata Brajabasi | Updated on: 25 May 2017, 21:42 IST
(AFP PHOTO/Manpreet Romana)

On 23 May, the Delhi High Court had ordered Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) to continue with the marks moderation policy, calling the decision to scrap the same as “unfair and irresponsible.”

But this reinstatement of the moderation of marks policy by the High Court has created a lot of confusion among students and state boards alike - more than seven state boards, including Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Goa and Gujarat, have already declared Class 12 results this month without using the policy.

CBSE usually declares its results in the third week of May. This year, the results have been delayed, as they have been for other school education boards like Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), Indian School Certificate (ISC) and several other state boards.

The results are likely to be announced by the end of the week.

What is the marks moderation policy?

The policy, which had been followed across all boards till the decision was made to scrap it, adds grace marks to a student’s overall score for attempting difficult questions in exams.

The Union Human Resources Development Ministry had asked boards to scrap the practice on 24 April. In a meeting by the HRD ministry, CBSE, ISC, ICSE and other state boards unanimously agreed to do away with the policy.

The reason to do away with the policy has to do with he fact that it made it easy to give undeserved marks to specific students and for state to inflate marks to help their students shine as compared to the rest of India.

A clear disadvantage

According to Prof BL Choudhary, the chairman of the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan, the students of state boards that have already declared the results will clearly face a disadvantage when it comes getting admission into colleges based on merit.

“Moderation of marks is a wrong and unfair practice and we have declared our results without this policy. This practice gives students extra marks even when they have not earned it.”

Prof Choudhary says the Rajasthan board will not re-evaluate the results. “We are proud of the results of the Rajasthan board and students have done exceptionally well even without moderation of marks. We will not change the results in any way even if CBSE and other boards declare results with moderation of marks,” he says.

The fallout

However, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has been contemplating revising the results. PSEB secretary JR Mehrok told Catch that in order to ensure that the students of Punjab board are at equal playing field with the rest of the students, the board "may make specific moderations in the Class 12 board results of 2017".

Mehrok said, “If CBSE, ISC and other boards were to declare results with the moderation policy, Punjab board may or may not re-evaluate their results too.”

On 25 May, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered PSEB chairman Balbir Singh Dhol to resign because of the drop in the overall pass percentage of Class 12 and Class 10 students. The pass percentage of Class 12 students dropped from 76 last year to 62.

Catch is yet to receive statements from other state boards.

The government's stand

The HRD ministry which had initially asked all the education boards to do away with moderation of marks is now complying with the Delhi HC order.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday, 25 May, said that "CBSE result will be declared on time, the date will be told by CBSE. No need to worry about court's order, justice will be done for all.”

He also said that marks moderation will continue but added that spiking of marks will not be allowed.

The CBSE chairman was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts by Catch.

'No clarity'

A PTI report on 24 May said that a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh passed the interim order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a parent and a lawyer contesting that the marks moderation policy should not be scrapped this year since it would affect the results of Class 12 students, especially those who have applied for education abroad.

The results of Class 12 students are critical as colleges like Delhi University have already started their admission process for their bachelor programmes, leaving students worried.

Meenakshi Sharma, the parent of a Class 12 student in Delhi Public School, RK Puram, says, "As admission processes have already begun in many colleges and universities, our children are getting more and more anxious,” she told Catch.

Anjali Suresh, another parents of a Class 12 student, says there is no clarity as to whether the mark moderation policy will apply to CBSE students this year. “There will be so much disparity in results of students from different boards if some results have been calculated using the mark moderation policy and some have not. This will give some students more advantage over the other and that is extremely unfair,” she said.

First published: 25 May 2017, 21:02 IST
Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of NDTV 24X7. At work Priyata is all about the news. Outside of it, she can't stay far enough. She immerses herself in stories through films, books and television shows. Oh, and she can eat. Like really.