Grace marks: Panel to frame rules to clear the air

Draft of New Education Policy had recommended doing away with the system

December 26, 2016 11:42 pm | Updated 11:42 pm IST - BENGALURU:

Although the draft of the New Education Policy had suggested that the system of awarding ‘grace marks’ be discontinued, the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) has constituted a sub-committee to frame rules for awarding them.

A notice issued by the Joint Director (Examinations) of DPUE sent to six experts from different colleges states that a meeting will be held on December 28 to discuss the issue. It states that the purpose of the meet was to deliberate on making rules for awarding grace marks “if the need arises” in PU exams.

The department decided to streamline the process of allotting grace marks after it received a rap from the High Court of Karnataka for allotting grace marks in the mathematics paper conducted in March 2016.

In fact, the Director of DPUE had also tendered an “unconditional apology” to the court as the department had told the court that no grace marks were allotted. The then Director of DPUE later learnt of the “resolution” passed by the chief examiners and deputy chief examiners for “liberal valuation”.

“This was done without the notice of the department officials, and valuators at the valuation camps decided this by their own will. This created a lot of confusion and there were fears that grace marks were given to some students and not others. So we want to evolve a system where grace marks are awarded if needed only after consultation with the subject experts and the official,” an official from DPUE said.

Officials of the Karnataka Examinations Authority will also be present at the meeting as marks of II PU exams are considered for admissions to professional courses.

Inflated pass percentage

However, several academicians are against the practice of allotting grace marks as they feel that it “artificially inflates” the pass percentage. “Besides inflating the overall pass per cent, allotting grace marks turns out to be a disadvantage to students who have worked hard and performed well as the average score of the students increases. This has a cascading effect during admissions to professional courses,” a principal of a pre-university college in south Bengaluru said.

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