Over 250 students of several Jharkhand colleges will have to re-take tests in different subjects after human error left them with shockingly low marks in the BSc part-one examinations held last year, a top education official said.
The issue has threatened to snowball into a major confrontation between the parent Vinoba Bhave University and students who have said that the examination mess has exposed a glaring loophole in the state’s education system.
Under the Jharkhand State University Act, there is no provision of re-evaluation of answer sheets or penalising anyone who made mistakes in checking answer sheets, said Gurdeep Singh, the varsity vice chancellor.
“As an academic, I feel it is unfair to students as they have to suffer for no fault of theirs. As a university official, however, I have to follow the rules,” Singh told HT from the varsity campus at Hazaribagh, 125 km from Dhanbad.
The varsity has 22 constituent colleges across the state.
Sources said the varsity appoints professors from different colleges to evaluate the papers.
The matter came to light after one of the students, Kajal Rai of SSLNT women’s college in Dhanbad, re-called her maths answer sheet after paying `1,500 to the varsity.
Rai said one of her college professors Sandhya Bose found that at least three answers have been marked wrong, denying her 16 marks. Rai was awarded 24 out of 100 marks by the varsity.
The professor was, however, not available for comments.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the ruling BJP in the state, demanded a probe into the matter.
“These professors (examiners) are guilty of shattering the dreams of thousands of students and playing with their future. The university administration must consider the matter seriously as it is sensitive and relates to careers of students,” said Sonu Mishra, an AVBP leader.
OP Mahto, the varsity’s examination controller, said that the provision for re-evaluation of examination copies was removed after the state was carved out of Bihar in 2000.
However, GC Jha, secretary of the Federation of University Teachers’ Association of Jharkhand, said that the move was “totally wrong”.
“Owing to acute crisis of teachers in the state, it was difficult to re-evaluate answer books at that time. But it was an injustice to students,” Jha said, adding that government must to bring in changes in the system as it affects the careers of thousands of students every year.