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DU cut offs may be lower this year as CBSE, 23 boards agree not to inflate marks

States and union territories have promised they would stop the practice of inflating marks awarded in Class 12 board exams, easing the path for entry into undergraduate programmes. Students have been deterred by high cut-off marks set by Delhi University colleges that have sometimes touched 100% in recent years.

education Updated: Apr 13, 2018 09:22 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CBSE,Delhi University cut off,DU cut off
Students check their Central Board of secondary Education (CBSE) board exam results, in Noida.(HT File Photo)

Delhi University colleges may stop setting unrealistically high cut-off percentages for admission this year, with states and union territories promising the central government that they would stop the practice of inflating marks awarded in Class 12 board exams, easing the path for entry into undergraduate programmes.

Twenty-three states and UTs have so far offered the assurance in response to a request by the government. The latest was Tamil Nadu, which on April 5 sent a letter to the ministry that the exceptions would be in case of ambiguities in a paper or vagaries in the evaluation process. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Daman and Diu and Puducherry will also not inflate marks.

“The state board of examination has been following the practice of awarding grace marks only to pass the borderline cases. It has been decided to disclose the quantum and policy for moderation on the website as and when the decision is taken,” read the letter written by Pradeep Yadav, principal secretary to the government, state education department, Tamil Nadu.

In 2016, out of the 188 admissions approved tor the B.Com (Honours) course in Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce on the first day, 129 students were from Tamil Nadu, including 33 from just one school.

The moderation policy allows school boards to give students extra marks. But some state boards used the system to increase the marks of their students, spiking the overall pass percentage and triggering widespread resentment among students of other boards. Students have been deterred by high cut-off marks set by Delhi University colleges that have sometimes touched 100% in recent years, denying many admission seekers entry into the course of their choice. According to officials familiar with the development, a number of states had been waiting for Tamil Nadu to respond before sending their own responses to the human resource development (HRD) ministry. “Most of the states have responded and the remaining 13 states and UTs are also likely to send their response now as they were waiting to see Tamil Nadu’s response,” said a senior HRD official on condition of anonymity.

In October 2017, school education secretary Anil Swarup had written to the heads of all state education boards advising them to avoid “bunching of marks” and “their spiking”.

Officials in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) claim that moderation is adopted in cases of ambiguity in question papers and evaluation vagaries, based on statistical analyses.

“Our students have been suffering in the past as we don’t inflate marks artificially. We give grace marks to ensure students with borderline marks are able to pass and to make the system fair. We are not going to inflate marks this year too and are happy others are going to follow it,” said a senior CBSE official.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 07:39 IST