Delay in examination results, incorrect mark sheets, missing marks, and students marked absent for exams they have given — the problems faced by Delhi University’s Examination Branch are growing by the day.
Burdened with the task of processing 16 lakh answer sheets in a year — including semester and annual exams — the university’s examination branch is struggling to meet deadlines.
“I had opted for Mathematics as my optional paper in second year but I got marks for political science,” said Sahil Ludhani, a final year student of Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC).
Moreover, delay in results mean that students applying for competitive exams, foreign universities and higher education face a tough time.
One of the biggest challenges is to find teachers willing to evaluate answer sheets.
“Many teachers refuse or regret doing exam work. The list of evaluators is also outdated. This year, out of 15 names on the evaluation list, only two teachers turned up,” said a senior teacher of political science at SRCC.
Two others who came did not teach the subject but were still given copies to correct, he added.
Evaluators are unhappy with the remuneration received. They get Rs 15 for checking honours paper, Rs 12 for pass course and Rs 18 for master’s papers.
Moreover, rather than correcting copies and submitting them on a daily basis at the exam centres, evaluators take the copies home.
“The facilities at the exam centre are not adequate. And once examiners take copies home the results get delayed if they don’t submit the marks on time,” said Janmayjay Khuntia, member of the Academic Council.
Staff, infrastructure shortage:
The examination branch has the same number of staff it had in 1979. In contrast, while the number of students in 1979 was 50,000 it has increased to a whopping 4 lakh in 2008.
“We need eight times the staff we have today. Automation is the only answer but it will not happen overnight,” said M.L. Singla, Dean of Examination.
“For instance, we have successfully introduced Optical Mark Reader exam forms this year,” Singla said.
The old exam building is inadequate to house lakhs of answer scripts that have to be kept for four months after each exam.
At least 100 schemes of exam
The university has made things difficult for itself with varying schemes of exam.
“The promotion scheme is different for different programmes. So tabulating marks according to so many schemes takes time. We need to simplify the schemes and do away with many of them,” said Singla.
DU has limited examination reforms to the committees. After finding the recommendations of the Kiran Datar Examination Reforms Committee (2006) unsuitable, yet another exam reforms committee headed by Dean Student Welfare S.K. Vij has been formed this year.