The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Answerscript iron curtain off
- CU takes first step in transparency

Calcutta, Oct. 6: Calcutta University will make available for inspection scripts of candidates awarded zero or “very low marks” in undergraduate and post-graduate examinations, taking the first step towards transparency in a state racked by marksheet scandals.

The new system — prompted by the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary marks controversy that has led to several lawsuits — will be implemented with the announcement of the results of BA and B.Sc-Part I (honours and general) on Monday. An aggrieved student is expected to be able to see the script after the Puja vacation.

No university or school board in Bengal now allows students to peruse corrected scripts. A few exceptions have been made, but after the intervention of courts.

Suranjan Das, Calcutta University pro vice-chancellor (academic), said the candidates, guardians and heads of the students’ colleges would be allowed to inspect the scripts.

Several students have reportedly been awarded “very low marks or zero” in this year’s BA and B.Sc-Part I (honours and general) examinations. Nearly 70,000 students, the bulk of them from Calcutta, Howrah and neighbouring districts, have appeared for this year’s examination.

The university feels that the transparent process will stand it in good stead, if a candidate moves court against the result.

“We are going to put a premium on transparency,” Das said. “We will keep such answerscripts (bearing zero or low marks) in the office of the controller of examinations of the university where students, guardians and heads of the colleges concerned will be welcome to go through the scripts, if they are not convinced with the result.”

Das said the examinees would not be able to see the scripts this week because the university has scheduled a meeting of its undergraduate council on October 10, where the procedure for showing the scripts to the students will be finalised.

However, before allowing access to the scripts, the university would check them twice to ensure that the examiner or the tabulator had not made any mistake.

The precautions have been taken in the light of the spate of cases over the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examination results, which led to the resignation of Haraprasad Samaddar as president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

The university has also decided to appoint new head examiners and coordinators for evaluating answerscripts of students who apply for review.

Under the old system, if a student applied for review of any answerscript, the examiner who evaluated the original paper would have been asked to re-examine the script. Das admitted that this system was defective for no examiner would like to alter his earlier decision.

The university has also decided to abolish the system of awarding only 50 per cent of the additional marks that a review yields. For instance, if a student’s marks go up by 10 after the review, he is awarded only five at present. Das said this rule created severe resentment among students, especially in situations when a high rank is missed by a difference of one or two marks.

He said the marksheets of tomorrow’s results would be distributed to the authorities of the respective colleges in the afternoon.

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