Each year, students are found agonising over the marks given to them by the Delhi University (DU) in final examinations. Some students, who have held a consistently bright academic record in school are in for a rude shock when the DU results are out.
This is attributed to the absence of any model answer scheme for examiners while evaluating the answer scripts, which creates ample room for them to assign marks as per their discretion.
In an RTI filed by Ajay Goel, a student of Law Faculty, which sought a copy of instructions or guidelines given to examiners for awarding marks along with the copy of suggested answers to act as benchmark for awarding marks in papers.
The reply from Examination-1 branch to the RTI stated, “Available records do not suggest that there is any model answer for the examiner while evaluating the answer scripts. There are no guidelines available for awarding marks in the semester-1 paper as requested by the applicant.”
Students, however, have reacted very strongly to the absence of any marking scheme. “Examiners give marks according to their own free will. Even a board as big as CBSE has a fixed marking scheme for all their subjects,” said Goel.
DU, however, has claimed that the university has never felt the need to use a prescribed answer scheme while correcting answer papers.
“There is a centralised evaluation system and there is no set model answer. You cannot have a model answer scheme for all the streams. The head examiner randomly checks what the other examiners are correcting and then coordinates among the other examiners,” said RC Sharma, Dean of Exams, Delhi University.
Other professors from DU have also opposed strongly the idea of a model marking scheme being instituted. “The concept of an answer scheme discourages thinking. We broadly decide on what we look for in a certain answer and how many marks are to be assigned. When students join, we ask them to unlearn whatever CBSE has taught them. The CBSE expects four lakh students to give the same answer, which blanks out thinking and analysis,” said Ujjaini Ray, professor, LSR.