The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CU bares the have-naughts

History of sorts was made on Monday when, for the first time ever, over 600 students who have managed to score zero in the current year’s BA and B.Sc Part I (honours and general) examinations, results of which were announced during the day, were voluntarily shown their answer-scripts by Calcutta University (CU).

Suranjan Das, pro vice-chancellor (academic), who announced the results, said the 600-odd candidates will be able to inspect their answer-scripts — mostly of mathematics — after the Puja vacation. The results were announced at 1.30 pm. A total of 69,000 students sat for the exam.

In an effort to make the age-old examination system more transparent, senior officers of the university displayed the scripts that scored naught at a crowded press conference. The names of the candidates were not revealed. “Before the scripts are made available to them for inspection, a clearance from the head of the college is necessary, for which the candidates concerned will be required to submit applications first,” he said.

Monday’s development is important in view of the fact that an increasing number of aggrieved students and their guardians have challenged the examination system in law courts in the recent past. The university is the first examination-conducting agency in the state to display such scripts on the day that results are announced. In the past, the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary boards had displayed scripts either at the instance of a law court or under political pressure.

Das said about 100 students, who took various examinations conducted by CU this year, went to court as they were not satisfied with their results. Though the court’s judgment had gone in favour of CU in most cases, a feeling was gaining ground that students were taking recourse to the court because they were losing confidence in the examination system, Das said. “This prompted us to introduce measures for ushering in transparency,” Das said.

Significantly, many of the 600 students had scored zero in subjects like sociology, history, political science, Bengali and English, although the common notion is that such abysmally low marks can be awarded only in science subjects, particularly in mathematics. The university has conducted a study on this paradox.

To stop students from approaching the courts, the university has also decided to announce the review results of all exams strictly within a month after the last date of receiving their review applications. The last date of submission of review applications for BA and B.Sc Part I honours and general is November 22.

nAnother report on Page 19

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