The Maharashtra government recently revised its guidelines for awarding additional credits to state-board, class 10 students who outperform in art and culture. Students shall now be eligible to earn 15 extra credits as opposed to 25.

The state has further done away with the 2% reservation that was earlier granted to students for admissions at junior college via FYJC admissions. The new rule shall come into effect immediately from the SSC exams to be held in 2018.

Why this decision? Since the implementation of the decision earlier by the officials, a report by the school education department (SED) has suggested that the number of students scoring a 100 percent marks shot up by 5 times.

Further, the state board students solely benefitted from this rule, making the non-state board students bewailing. The decision to amend the existing rule may affect more than 81,000 Maharashtra state board students.

Students can now earn 15 extra credits as opposed to 25 earlier. Also, 2% quota has been removed. In effect now, Maharashtra colleges will have 1800 more seats without quota.

Does this means a loss to serious artists? The Mumbai principal association has decided to discuss to oppose the amended rule with the State government as it may affect students who sincerely dedicate time to art and might not be able to invest in academics. Then comes the question of Equality v Equity.

While the amended rule has resulted in mixed reactions, there is no denying the fact that it is bound to affect many deserving students.

The decision might result in an unbiased affair for non-state board students, however, the state could extend this benefit to the rest students as well.

While extracurricular activities are often repressed in comparison to academics, the decision surely encouraged students to participate more into extracurricular activities.

The new rule has halved the additional marks awarded to students from drawing exams. Further, students pursuing classical art shall no longer be eligible for additional 25 marks, in case they win any national or state-level tournament.

The government is also considering to revise the rules for students in sports category. Students may be entitled to up to 25 marks extra depending upon the level they play in.

This step by the government has certainly upset many students and school authorities, however, the plan introduced is new and more or less un-executed yet. The government might want to reconsider the guidelines in case it feels necessary.

The way ahead should be to benefit all from the plan. Emphasize should be put on encouraging all-round development of the student. There is certainly a lack of clarity regarding the plan as the government explores the need and the significance of this move. Although the whole point of rewarding extra credits might be a topic for deliberation for many. Let us know your views on the same. Do you think that grace marks are the right step towards encouraging extracurricular activities in our country especially where academics is solely valued by many.

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