New Delhi: With the admission cut-offs in universities scaling new peaks every year, the human resource development (HRD) ministry has called a meeting of 42 all-India and state school education boards to discuss how to check the trend of excessively high board exam scores. The meeting scheduled to be held on 28 October will also focus on the need for boards to be strict in awarding marks and reconsider the practice of grace marking.

“Around 8,917 of the 12 lakh students who took the Central Board for Secondary Education’s (CBSE) class XII board exams this year had secured more than 95%. The first cut-off for admission to leading Delhi University colleges has for years been set above 95%," an official at the HRD ministry said. “It will be discussed whether we need grace marking at all. Also in moderation—the board decides that certain questions in a particular paper were too difficult and awards full marks to everybody against them thus leading to inflation of marks," the official added. Other issues on the agenda for the meeting include the existing system of setting question papers, marking pattern, evaluation, rechecking, re-totalling and revaluation, and laying down guidelines to prevent cheating in examination.

The meeting will also discuss the need for Joint Entrance Exam (Advanced) examination as merit list of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) can be prepared on the basis of JEE (Main), linking the syllabus and examination pattern for classes X and XII and entrance examinations for admission to medical and engineering colleges, a relook at the teaching-learning process in classrooms, and the implementation of continuous comprehensive evaluation. Besides, the ministry will try to persuade the all-India and state boards to declare their class XII results within an agreed deadline so that IIT and National Institute of Technology admissions are not delayed.