According to Abha Dev Habib, of the DUTA, the “once so called ‘reform’ forced on the teaching community at the behest of the MHRD, the semester system at the undergraduate level has been categorically and unequivocally rejected by the teachers. The experience of semesterized courses in the last one and half years has confirmed our worst fears about severe academic dilution and adverse effect on teaching-processes and co-curricular activities. This has crippled the intellectual, cultural-emotional and holistic growth of students. The worst affected are students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
It is being believed that to cloak the disastrous impact of semesterization on the performance of students, the DU administration has resorted to irrational inflation of marks which has put a question mark on the credibility of our results and will result in devaluing of the degree. The new moderation formula has worked against all students thus having the teachers at DU exercised over this marks scam.
The marks scam has purportedly happened at three levels:
(i) Meetings were held in many Departments to unofficially decide a reduced syllabus for setting exam papers. The question papers were made as easy, the format of the exam papers was changed giving students maximum chance.
(ii) The examiners were instructed to mark leniently.
(iii) The last straw on camel’s back was to moderate all marks by the same token. Earlier moderation was case-wise. This time, blanket moderation was done, without a prior and proper tabulation of results, and analysis of the same.
Nandita Narian of the Maths Department at St. Stephen’s College, who was also an examiner, tells how earlier in the meeting in the Maths Department, the syllabi were unofficially reduced and later there was imminent pressure from the DU Exam Branch to mark students leniently.
The proposal to semesterize the postgraduate courses was passed in Academic Council meeting of February 2008 and the decision was implemented from July 2009. The results of postgraduate courses, which have not been tampered by the DU administration to that extent, reconfirm the opinion that the semester system works against the inclusion policies. The failure rate has increased in the postgraduate Departments as students with disadvantaged backgrounds fail to cope in the semester system.
These issues have also been highlighted in the Memorandum of Protest by the examiners of the History department who have written to Dr. Jaggi, the Controller of Examinations saying that this “ we protest against this un- academic way of moderating results that has diluted academic standards and has made a mockery of the evaluation process undertaken seriously and sincerely by us.” and the memo was signed by 14 examiners of the same department.
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Moderation Patterns in DU Final Exams– By Abha Dev Habib