After finding number of students claiming the 25 extra marks granted to those who play at state or national level to be unnaturally high, education board sends proposal to government suggesting rule be kept only for those needing marks to pass

In just two years, the state produced nearly 10,000 national or state level sportspersons in the under-18 category. These are not any speculative figures, but the official figures obtained from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) that lists the number of students who received 25 marks extra in their board exams under the sports category.

That's a foul: Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher
Secondary Education chairperson

Ujjwaladevi PatilĀ  says many discrepancies have been noticed as the
number of those applying for extra marks for sports keeps rising
every year

According to rules, students appearing for the Std X board exams from schools attached to the state board are eligible for 25 extra marks in their final total if they can show proof of participation or excellence in national or state level sports championships.

Over the last couple of years, the number of students obtaining benefit under this scheme has risen by leaps and bounds, prompting the education board to seriously investigate the matter. "Our observation is that this system is being misused or overused. Every year, thousands of new students claim benefit under this quota, which is not right. The idea behind starting this system was to ensure that students who excel in sports shouldn't have to suffer as they have to dedicate a part of their time towards practice which they could have employed in academics," said Ujjwaladevi Patil, chairperson of the MSBSHSE. After conducting a detailed study, the board sent a proposal to the Education Ministry that suggested scrapping of the extra marks for sports for all except those students who need them as grace marks for promotion.

"Nowadays, all parents want their kids to obtain sports benefit and many discrepancies are noticed because of that. We have recommended the existing system be stopped and instead the 25 marks under sports quota be given to students who are otherwise failing and need the extra marks to get promoted," said Patil.
She added that the proposal had been made, but no decision had yet been reached by the authorities concerned.

Principals agree
Bhagwan Thakur, principal of Wadia College, welcomed the move by the MSBSHSE. "These days we see students who play any local level sports and get benefit under this category. We feel only students doing well at the national or state level should come under this category," he said. "I think, logically, this proposal is correct as only needy students should get this benefit and only if they need the marks to pass."

No. of students who availed sports benefits