Thirty two school boards have agreed to scrap the policy of “marks moderation” from this year in a bid to arrest the inflation of Class XII results witnessed over the last few years. The consensus was built during a three-hour-long meeting organised by the CBSE and attended by School Education Secretary Anil Swarup on Monday.

Swarup told The Indian Express that CBSE will lead by example by not artificially “spiking” marks scored by Class XII students in Board results expected next month. CBSE first adopted the practice of moderation in 1992. This, in other words, would mean that the CBSE results could witness a drop in student performance for the first time in many years.

To achieve the above, the CBSE will also discontinue its practice of setting different question papers for schools in the Delhi region and the rest of the country and abroad. “There will be a common question paper for all CBSE-affiliated schools,” an official said.

On Monday, all school Boards also agreed to adopt a policy of full disclosure on awarding grace marks.

According to sources, all the representatives, who attended Monday’s meeting, have agreed to publish their grace marks policy on the official website and also disclose the number of grace marks awarded to a candidate in order to pass a subject in his or her marksheet.

CBSE again has decided to implement the full disclosure on grace marks with immediate effect, said sources. “The marksheets this year will reflect whether a student has been given grace marks,” the source added.

In an additional step to arrest the inflation of Class XII results, the Centre on Monday proposed that the school boards also score/grade a students’ performance in extra-curricular activities separately from her academic performance. Some boards currently follow the practice of adding marks obtained in, say, physical education to the overall academic performance, which the Centre suspects is one of the ways to awards marks liberally in order to improve Board results.

The consensus built on moderation of marks is significant as it will, if implemented in letter and spirit, will lead to a sharp drop in Class XII results. Moderation 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, to maintain parity of pass percentage across years and to compensate students for difficulties in solving the question in specified time.

This practice, however, has been often blamed for the “spike” in results witnessed across school boards in the last few years.

On Monday, all 32 Boards also agreed to adopt the NCERT curriculum for core subjects such as science and mathematics. The meeting was attended by representatives of ICSE, NIOS and states of UP, J&K, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan did not attained the meeting.

The Centre has set up a working group headed by CBSE chairman and with members from the ICSE and states of Gujarat, J&K, Karnataka, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Manipur to resolve implementation issues regarding Monday’s decisions.

Although Kerala agreed to all proposals on Monday, but sought a year’s time as opposed to the consensus built on introducing all changes this year itself.