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Examiners skip spot checks
- Travel allowance withdrawal may delay publication of results

Calcutta University’s (CU) attempts to regularise the publication of results of major under-graduate examinations may suffer a setback, as several examiners are opting to skip spot evaluation of answer-scripts of this year’s BA, B.Sc and B.Com tests.

The examiners’ unwillingness to check scripts at a venue assigned by the authorities is rooted in a decision taken by the CU authorities to withdraw the system of paying travel allowances (TA) to them from this year. Till 2002, the teachers were paid Rs 75 a day as TA for spot evaluation, in addition to the normal remuneration of Rs 4 per script.

In the spot evaluation system, a large number of examiners gather at a venue and check the answer-scripts. The university authorities had introduced the system in certain subjects a few years ago, in order to expedite the process of publication of results of major under-graduate examinations.

A section of teachers, who were engaged by CU to evaluate this year’s BA, B.Sc and B.Com scripts on the spot, alleged that they have not been given any TA for the purpose.

According to them, under the conventional system, the teachers could correct the scripts at home. But for spot evaluation, they have to shell out a considerable amount of money to reach the venue.

“Besides, we have to carry out spot evaluation only after attending our normal duties in our respective colleges. Some of us had to attend spot evaluation for more than five days. The university should immediately withdraw its decision and provide us with the allowance,” said an aggrieved examiner.

CU pro vice-chancellor of academic affairs Suranjan Das admitted that the examiners were harbouring a grievance over withdrawal of the allowance. He said the TA had been withdrawn as the university was passing through a financial crisis.

“But, considering the demand of the teachers, we are working out a way to continue with the system of paying an allowance to examiners for spot evaluation,” Das said.

The spot evaluation system was introduced as the conventional system involved a long-drawn procedure. For instance, the scripts are first sent to head-examiners, from where they are distributed to the respective examiners. Again, when the evaluation is complete, the marks are first sent to the head-examiners and, then, to the university. These procedures can be skipped in case of spot evaluation.

Officials in the university, however, say the bulk of answer-scripts of major under-graduate examinations are still checked in the conventional system.

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