LAHORE The Higher Education Department has decided, in principal, to eliminate practical exam marks for the Matric and Intermediate students, and the examiner would only be authorised to declare the candidates as pass or fail. The HED sources on Monday said that the department has started reducing the practical marks by 50 per cent from the current year. This step has been taken in order to remove favoritism in the Board of Intermediate &Secondary Education exams, one of the sources said. The Regional Centres, also called the Hub Centres, would be made operational to assist students seeking admissions in both the classes other than filling in the admission forms. It is worth mentioning here that in cases of admission form filling, the BI&SEs have decided to establish franchises across the province. A senior Lahore BI&SE officer, when contacted, said the next years practical examination would be given in two phases: firstly, the candidate would have to appear in a written form of practical examination, which would also carry marks; and secondly, in the second phase they would have to perform before the examiner the same examination as another form of practical exam wherein he would be declared as pass or fail only. A senior officer of the IT Department has said that the above said policy has been discussed at length with all the stake-holders and now it is lying with the provincial committee on education, comprising minister for education and senior officers of the Education Department and the chairmen of all the boards in the Punjab. After the approval of the committee, the matter would be sent to the Chief Minister for approval. Meanwhile, a Lahore BI&SE spokesman has claimed that the examination for the Secondary School (Annual) Examination 2011 was being held under strict vigilance of the supervisory staff at 624 centres established by the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education in five districts of the Lahore Division. Dr Muhammad Akram Kashmiri is regularly visiting these centres, the spokesman said. He has been telling the candidates as well as the supervisory staff that under the Boards rules, use of mobile phone in the centres is prohibited. He also apprised that practical slips to the concerned candidates would be delivered to them at their respective centers during the course of the ongoing examination. The Superintendent of centre established at Government Degree College, Sharqpur (Sheikhupura) complained that in the morning sessions some outside elements tried to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. Consequently, the police officer concerned was asked to make arrangements for pre-empting the happening of untoward incident, Police authorities were also informed that this centre has been declared 'HARD so they must deploy sufficient police force for warding off the miscreants.