No saving grace
Ranchi, July 6: Buckling under pressure, the state HRD department may have become doubly generous towards over 16,000 students who flunked this year’s intermediate exams, but the marks sop won’t be saving grace as far as admissions to reputable cradles are concerned.
Reason: a distinct remark that will paradoxically indicate that a particular student has been unsuccessful and is being promoted under consideration.
A day after the cabinet okayed an HRD department resolution to grant failed students up to 10 per cent grace marks instead of five per cent, Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) chairperson Laxmi Singh said the fresh mark sheets to be issued to 16,235 students would show “UR or under regulation” in parenthesis beside original subject scores.
Less than 1,000 among these students have cleared competitive examinations and may not be severely affected because their admissions to various technical schools will depend on already secured all-India ranks and intermediate pass certificate.
However, the remaining students — more than 15,000 — will have a harrowing time trying to pursue higher studies in subjects of their choice, courtesy the remark rider.
The JAC chairperson refrained from commenting on whether the grace marks would improve academic prospects of these students and justified the remark, citing vague government rules. “If a student clears the exam with grace marks, rules mandate that the marksheet mentions it as a UR case. It is convenient for our records wing to keep tab on subject-wise evaluation,” said Singh.
Ranchi University pro-vice chancellor V.P. Sharan, however, minced no words to say that the marks sop was mere eyewash that will benefit only a handful of students. “Those who have cracked competitive examinations, the extra marks will help them obtain a pass certificate, the ticket for admission to various technical colleges. But for general students, grace marks is a lolly you cannot lick,” he said.
He pointed out that these less-fortunate students might find seats only in far-flung and little known colleges. “Top cradles such as St Xavier’s College and Marwari College are out of their reach now. Besides, admissions at most standard colleges are on the verge of closing, which further narrows down options for students,” he said.
Seeking admission outside the state is again next to impossible with the unpleasantly conspicuous UR remark on mark sheets.
“So, indirectly, students have been taken out of the frying pan and tossed into fire. This way, the academic image of Jharkhand will only suffer,” said J.N. Prasad, the head of physics department at Ranchi University.
“Ideally, there should have been a special supplementary exam and speedy evaluation instead of grace marks. That would have benefited students in the real sense. Or else, students should have been dared to study for one more year and come out with flying colours in the long term,” he added.