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Examination blues

After six students of Delhi University were caught on college premises with images of the Zoology question paper on their phones, questions have yet again arisen over the poor levels of accountability and alleged corruption involved in the varsity’s examination procedure. The six suspects were found with images of the question paper on the internet-message application called WhatsApp. Although the matter is under investigation,  this isn’t the first time that such leaks have occurred in Delhi University.

Strangely, the principal of the college under cloud, has not even released a statement on whether the examination would be conducted afresh. These revelations come at a time when allegations of a tie-up between tutorial centres on campus and those in the Delhi University examination board responsible for leaking question papers have surfaced. Last month, the financial management paper, which was presented for semester exams, was available with various coaching centres near the varsity’s campus. One immediate step that senior officials in Delhi University could take is to conduct background checks on its examination branch members to ensure no conflict of interest exists.

Thankfully, the varsity has recently constituted a seven-member committee to propose changes in its examination system, under directives from the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. As per media reports, the committee will draft a proposal on key issues such as the revision of the grading pattern, process of setting up question papers, accountability of evaluators and guidelines for credit transfers. One possible change could be scrapping the current examination pattern altogether, and introduce open-book exams or take-away assignments that can be graded over the course of a semester, unless the varsity comes up with stringent rules to prevent such leaks. Honest pupils and teachers should not pay for the mistakes of a few bad apples.

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