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OJEE does away with negative marking

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 1: The state government has decided to do away with negative marks for the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination - 2013.

The new evaluation method will follow the percentile system along with awarding of ranks. It has been decided that from now, candidates who leave their OMR answer sheets blank will be disqualified from the exam process altogether.

The decision has been taken by the cabinet committee on technical education that has been constituted according to the recommendations of a high-power committee on November 16 last year. The move is intended to help fill up the large-scale vacancies in engineering colleges.

“With the elimination of negative marking system, students who have answered 20 questions right and five questions wrong will now be awarded 20 marks and not 15 as was the practice earlier,” said a senior official of the technical education department, adding that questions from the previous years would be uploaded on the OJEE website for students to familiarise themselves with the examination pattern.

The OJEE-2013 will be conducted on May 12. It will cover admissions for engineering, MBA, MCA and pharmacy courses. Medical aspirants will have to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admissions this year as the state has already decided to embrace the national-level medical test.

There is also a strong possibility of Odisha becoming a part of the Common National Examination Process for admission into undergraduate engineering courses from 2014 if the Union human resources development ministry fulfils its conditions. The demands include publishing a separate merit list for state candidates and filling up of 15 per cent seats through the state admission agency.

Welcoming the changes in this year’s OJEE, Odisha Private Engineering Colleges’ Association secretary Binod Dash said that the decision would go a long way in enhancing the confidence of students.

“Instead of saying that the glass is half empty, we can very well say that the glass is half full. Besides, there is no point in demoralising students. Awarding marks only for the correct answers will boost their confidence. The quality of students will hardly be affected. It is always better to highlight their achievements rather than failures,” he said.

Last July, The Telegraph had reported how students scoring as low as 59 were being placed in the OJEE-2012 merit list. Around 700 students had secured negative marks.