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Don't challenge JEE answer keys, you'll have to pay CBSE Rs 1,000 per question

Ipsita Sarkar | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

JEE Mains 2016 answer keys were finally released yesterday. And along with it came a disclaimer!

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) admitted that JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) Mains Physics paper had two questions with discrepancies. The respective questions have two possible answers and CBSE is expected to award correct marks to both answers. Some leading coaching institutes had already claimed that there were discrepancies in the JEE Mains 2016 paper.

To challenge the answers, CBSE has a very simple process:

1. Log on to the CBSE website

2. Put in your application number and password

3. Next, select the Book number and corresponding question number you want to challenge and fill in the claimed answer

Simple, right?

Except, for each question you need to pay Rs 1,000!

Simply put, you need rich patrons to question the CBSE and Joint Admissions Board. Moreover, there is no guarantee that your request (if proven right) may be entertained.

Here's what CBSE says on its official JEE website:

"The answer keys and images of response sheets (OMR sheets) of Pen & Paper Based examination and Computer based examination will be displayed on the website www.jeemain.nic.in during 18 - 22 April 2016. The candidates, who are not satisfied with the captured response, may challenge by filling online application form and paying a sum of Rs 1000/- per question. The challenge of answer keys will also be accepted online only through the link available on the website www.jeemain.nic.in up to 5.00 PM on 22/04/2016 on payment of Rs.1000/- per question. The fee can be paid by credit/debit card or e-challan. The fee once paid is non-refundable. The JABs/CBSE's decision on the challenges shall be final and no further communication will be entertained."

This year, 12,07,257 candidates appeared for JEE, results of which will be declared on 27 April.

For many Indians taking the JEE, pursuing an engineering degree from top institutes in the country is not just a mere aspiration - it's a dream they nurture for years, working hard to fulfill it.

Many JEE aspirants come from economically weaker sections of the society and it may be difficult, if not pretty much impossible for them to pay the said amount.

Perhaps, CBSE should adopt a different policy.

For instance, the Board could charge a considerably lower amount for aspirants from EWS category. Or, they could charge Rs 1,000 for a bunch of questions.

Moreover, CBSE should not forget that experts pointed out some loopholes in the questions, two of which turned out to be true.

Students, too, could have some valid arguments against some questions.

There are several ideas that the CBSE and JAB could explore. But charging Rs 1,000 for each question, and thereby deliberately denying aspirants a chance to raise a question does not seem justified.

First published: 19 April 2016, 5:11 IST
Ipsita Sarkar @piercingharmony

Ipsita writes on education with focus on schools, higher education (engineering, B-Schools), HRD ministry, policies, and startup ecosphere. She's previously worked with Hindustan Times and Shiksha.com.