AS many as 17 states have responded positively to the Centre’s appeal to end the practice of inflating Class XII Board marks in the garb of “moderation,” The Indian Express has learnt. On October 6, school education secretary Anil Swarup wrote to the heads of all state education boards advising them to completely avoid “bunching of marks” and “their spiking.” The inflation of results have led to unrealistic cut-off marks for admission to Delhi University in the past.
Sources said education boards of Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Telangana and Goa have replied in agreement to the Centre’s advice.
“They have either clarified that they don’t resort to inflation or are willing to reconsider their moderation policy in light of our letter,” said a senior official who did not wish to be identified.
Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Odisha are among states that are yet to respond.
This is the Union HRD Ministry’s second attempt at stopping the practice of “moderation.” Last year, the Delhi High Court intervened and reversed the decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to not inflate Class XII results on the ground that the move was last-minute. This meant that marks were inflated even this year.
“Moderation” policy refers to a practice in which students get extra marks in subjects regarded “unusually difficult,” or if there have been differences in the sets of question papers.
So, in theory, moderation is meant to level the playing field but the suspicion is that some school boards are allegedly misusing it to inflate Class XII results to give their students a competitive edge in admission to higher education institutions.
Swarup’s fresh plea, dated October 6, advised states that the practice of giving grace marks can continue provided the policy is publicly declared and that weight to extra-curricular activities should be the same across all boards.