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In 2011, all 29 boards conducting senior secondary exams had adopted a core curriculum. Taking forward the uniformity, the Apex Board of IIT has asked CBSE to work on a common design of question paper for Class XII exams for mathematics and science subjects.

Coordinating on behalf of the boards, Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE), a common platform for all educational boards in the country, has instituted a sub-committee comprising of state board members from Assam, Maharashtra, Bihar, Kerala and Rajasthan to work on the common design of question paper.

"We are going to have the first batch that will appear in Class XII exams from various boards based on the core curriculum. With a common design of question papers the difficulty level as well as marking system will be equivalent and therefore there will be complete uniformity in the system," said chairman of COBSE as well as CBSE, Vineet Joshi.

The move is also likely to offer a level playing field to science students from different boards while appearing for centralized entrance examinations like the Joint Engineering Entrance (JEE) as well as the single medical entrance test. From this year the JEE (main) merit list to be conducted by CBSE will give 40% weightage to board results.

"Initially, once the design is ready, a pilot run will be introduced by five state boards for class XI. Based on the experience, and in case there is any need for improvement, finally it will be introduced in class XII from 2014. The idea is to have uniformity in the level of difficulty as the curriculum is already uniform so that students get a level playing field," said Puran Chand, joint secretary, COBSE. Once the recommendations of the sub-committee are ready, the matter will be placed at the COBSE for approval.

Source- Times of India ( 7 Jan 2012)

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