For students of Delhi University who wrote their end semester exams this week, the first page of their answer sheet had a pleasant surprise.
The Delhi University's exam branch did not ask for their or their parents' names. What it did give them instead was a unique roll number.
The university had planned to ask students to write their names and the name of their colleges in the answer sheet to make sure it could be found easily if misplaced or if the roll number mentioned on it was incorrect.
This move drew a lot of flak from students, teachers and activists as they felt that it left the students open to discrimination on the basis of their caste, gender, religion or college.
The new unique roll number comprises the students' college roll number, college code, year of enrollment and date of birth.
"The new roll number has made it very easy for us to find a misplaced answer sheet or correct a student's mistake as well. On Friday, the roll number on a student's answer sheet at Miranda House was incorrect. The exam in-charge saw this and within minutes we were able to rectify the mistake using the college code and the date of birth. Had this happened in the earlier system, the student would have been marked absent and it would have taken months to rectify the mistake," said Umesh Rai, director, South Campus.
Rai is part of the team that is implementing the changes in the examination policy. But he did not reveal the exact sequence and composition of the roll number.
Other than the unique roll number, the new answer sheets have a column for the question paper serial number and unique paper code apart from the name of the subject.