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JNU Controller of Examinations withdraws proposal seeking answer keys to tests

Vishakh Unnikrishnan | Updated on: 13 May 2016, 21:06 IST

After meeting with the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher's Association (JNUTA), the Control of Examinations withdrew its previous notification asking deans to provide the answer keys to the questions in entrance exam papers, weeks before the exams are scheduled to be held on 16 May.

The notice was issued by the COE Hanuman Sharma on 26 April wherein he asked deans of schools to provide the answer keys by 1 May.

While the administration did not explain the reason behind the volte-face, JNUTA members who met Sharma said that they had no option but to do so, since all teachers and deans of schools refused to comply with the order.

"The move would have not just eliminated the role of teachers but would have cast doubt upon the administration of the University. It would have escalated to a nationwide issue," says a dean of a college who wished to not be named.

"They should not have asked for it. After the deans responded that they wouldn't comply with the notice they subsequently withdrew it," Ajay Patnaik, president of JNUTA said.

"The rector who was present at the meeting said it was not longer required to send the answer keys to the questions and the notice has been withdrawn," says Patnaik.

Patnaik says JNUTA will raise the issue again and seek an explanation during the next Academic Council meeting.

"The notice did cast suspicion on the administration. They could have released the answers to any outside source. The The administrator has nothing to do with the examination," says Anil Chaudhary, ex-JNUSU General Secretary.

"They could provide the solution to the RSS Sakhas and rig the entire administration from below. The could virtually choose the kind of students they admit," says Chaudhary.

The deans of all schools had unanimously written to the COE that answer keys cannot be provided as such a need has never risen in the past and 'answer keys' to subjective questions was not possible.

While some schools have multiple-choice questions in their entrance exams they are only required to provide their answer keys to the administration post the examination for computerised evaluation, and not before that. In this case, the administration of the university sought answer keys from all schools, even those which have only papers requiring descriptive answers.

"How an you provide answer keys to subjective questions. They basically asked us to write an essay and submit it to them. There will be no scope to check for the student's analytical or political interpretation of various topics" says a dean of a school.

"This is absolute rubbish. JNU teachers spend nearly three weeks working 10-12 hours a day evaluating over 70,000 answer scripts for a reason, so that we pick the students amongst those who have applied, with the most potential from across the country. The JNU Controller of Examination's job is to facilitate this process, not to create conditions for 'leaks' and other shenanigans," says Ayesha Kidwa, Professor, Centre for Linguistics and member of JNUTA, in a Facebook post.

The notice had stated, "We request you to kindly provide the answer keys of objective question papers as well as descriptive question papers because according to the guidelines, the same is required to be uploaded on the website after the declaration of results".

While entrance exams to various JNU schools are held in the third week of May, results are usually announced between June and July.

First published: 13 May 2016, 21:06 IST
Vishakh Unnikrishnan @sparksofvishdom

A graduate of the Asian College of Journalism, Vishakh tracks stories on public policy, environment and culture. Previously at Mint, he enjoys bringing in a touch of humour to the darkest of times and hardest of stories. One word self-description: Quipster