In recent years, concerns regarding the evaluation process and its transparency have become increasingly common among University of Delhi students and faculty members. An increasing number of instances of faulty results, in which students are marked zero or absent even though they appeared for the exam, leaves these students with little choice but to seek reevaluation and pay high fees. Students are adversely impacted by the late announcement of revaluation results and the lack of effective grievance redressal.
University of Delhi, India’s one of the most premier public universities, attracts students from all backgrounds. With more than 90 colleges, 500+ programmes and almost 19 lakh students enrolled in different regular, open, certificate and diploma courses. With such strength, the process of evaluation and declaration of result is undoubtedly challenging. However, it is essential for universities to maintain a fair, unbiased and transparent assessment.
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of cases of errors in results in which students are graded zero or absent despite having taken the exam. Students who face such problems are typically advised to request for revaluation by paying a fee of 1000 rupees. However, there is no transparency in this process. Some of the key complaints of students include poor grievance redressal, late release of results, rejection of forms if any information is found to be wrong without notifying the applicant, and so on.
More than 100 pupils received a zero in English in 2012. A similar incident occurred in October of last year, when over 400 students from the faculty of law were marked zero or absent, provoking complaints from student groups. Many final-year UG students received zero or were marked absent in their OBE (Open Book Examination) results in 2020.
How can one get a zero in the open book format where we were allowed to use books? I have already taken admission in an MBA programme in a private institute in Pune and my family also took a bank loan of ₹16 lakh for my higher education. I have to submit my final-year mark sheets by November 10. They won’t allow me to join with this result. I applied for revaluation but I do not know how much time the university will take to declare the results. I am extremely anxious about my future”, says Yogendra Jaisawal, a student of Batch’20 from Rajdhani College in an interview in Hindustan Times
Not just regular students, but also SOL (School of Open Learning) students, experienced comparable challenges. Last September, Students from SOL’s B.Com and B.Com(Hons) programmes protested against faulty results.
They (DU) have made this mistake. They say that it could be anybody’s fault so we can go for re-evaluation after paying Rs 1,000. Where do we get Rs 1,000 from? In SOL, most students, including myself, come from humble backgrounds. We have already paid for our exams and books, though we haven’t received the latter yet”, Pushpendra, Delhi University in an interview on The Quint
Students raised similar problems this year when the semester 4 and 6 results were released in July 2023. Many students from Zakir Hussain College received zeros in “Auditing and Corporate Governance” and “Fundamentals of Investment”. The pattern in these cases is that students with successive roll numbers received zero marks in the same papers.
In other papers, I received 7 GRPT. How can I get a 0? How could someone fail a theory paper unless they left it blank? This ruined my whole CGPA”, a student from Batch’23 of Zakir Hussain College.
Students generally complain about the administration’s behaviour at the examination branch. Usually, students have to wait for extended periods of time since no one is seated at the window. Not only that, but students complained that they attempted to contact the examination branch through email or phone for an update on their revaluation, but no one responded to their emails or texts.
We asked the officers seated on the next window, 2-3 times. We informed him that we had been waiting for 25 minutes. He replied rudely, ‘Wait, there only’.”, a postgraduate student
The issue is not only the evaluation or the student being marked zero or absent and forced to pay 1000, but also the way the revaluation procedure works.
The revaluation guidelines read “If the award of the first revaluator is beyond ± 5% and up to ± 10%, the average of the marks of the original examiner and the first Revaluator will be taken.” Does this mean that incorrectly marked zeros will also be counted when computing my grades? If so, it is completely unjust. That was the fault of the university, not mine”, a student of Hansraj College.
The release of revaluation results is a separate issue. In some cases, revaluation results of students get released after a year. Many students of Batch’24 who were graded faulty score of zero or absent say that they are ineligible to apply for placements in their colleges as a result of this error in their marksheet.
An RTI application revealed that between 2015-16 and 2017-2018, the University of Delhi earned more than 3 crore rupees in fees from students for rechecking, revaluation, or providing photocopies of their answer scripts.
According to the information provided by the university, it earned Rs 2,89,12,310 for revaluation alone between 2015-16 and 2017-18. During the same period, it earned Rs 23,29,500 for rechecking and Rs 6,49,500 for providing students copies of answer-scripts evaluated”, Reports The Indian Express
Such mistakes and technical flaws are possible. However, the number of these cases has considerably grown in recent years. Such mistakes have an impact on a student’s career as well as their mental health. A transparent evaluation and revaluation procedure is of the utmost importance right now. To fix such errors, the institution should devise a quick and simple procedure. Not everyone can afford to spend such large sums only to correct faults created by the institution. As one of the largest and prominent central universities, DU should devise simple and effective solutions for resolving student issues.
Featured Image credits: exam.du.ac.in