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.

Click on the following links for more information

Moderation Patterns in DU Final Exams– By Abha Dev Habib

Memorandum of Protest _History



Ensuing soon after the declaration of the Semester 1 results by Delhi University for their course, was the row over the preternaturally high scores that the students had managed to achieve this time around, raising question marks over the veracity of these scores and their value.

In a recent development, teachers from the Department of Economics and the Department of Germanic and Romance studies have filed protests in the office of the Controller of Examinations against these apparently bloated results. The results in the Economics (H) exam went up to as high as 99% and in the Germanic and Romance studies exams to 96.6% and 86.6% in the respective papers

“We strongly 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,” the letter reads.

These reports have been confirmed by Saikat Ghosh, DUTA Executive Member who goes onto explain that the crux of the problem with these results lies that they have been moderated to such an extent that they have not been deemed correct and thus is in fact detrimental to the faith placed in the result evaluation procedure of DU.

He expounds that usually, the moderation as a process is a meticulous and intricate one, which involves the tabulation of marks in the primary step of the evaluation ladder which is followed up with identification of the ‘border- line’ cases. Once the red- ink separates these results from the hordes of the other scores, the marks that these particular exam- takers had secured in their Internal Assessments is taken into account and if the student is found worthy of a couple or more of grace marks, then they do get added on to his or her result. It is not a blanket formula, applied to all and sundry, something that the results this semester end seem to contradict. Also the principle for moderation has to be adopted by the Academic Council of the University of Delhi and only then is credence accorded to it.

As Mr. Ghosh informs us, the issue with the moderations this time has been that the tabulation had never been done and the teachers seem to have been told to moderate results freely by the Controller of Examinations, Dr. Jaggi, who in turn has passed the buck onto the Vice- Chancellor saying that the order had indeed come from higher quarters. “We have ample reason to believe that the results have been fudged” asserts Mr. Ghosh.

The DUTA has demanded an impartial probe into this matter and will adopt a resolution regarding the same in its General Body meeting on 31 January, 2012.


‘Cecilia you’re breaking my heart, you are shaking my confidence daily.’ This ancient Simon and Garfunkel classic resonated the feeling of restlessness and anxiety being experienced by the students of LSR till a few days ago. Make no mistake; it was no fair haired maiden but the moderation committee which was overseeing the correction of mid-term examination papers that had the students sinking into the depths of uncertainty.

Marking during internal evaluation has been a much debated topic in LSR. Students often complain about the stringent hand that college deals them while their counterparts in North Campus colleges are supposedly marked rather leniently which results in them scoring higher overall percentages.

This year the sudden need of moderation of internal marks of students in the annual mode may be a consequence of uncharacteristically brilliant results of the students under the ‘glorious’ semester system. While some students believed that moderation may help stabilize their marks as different teachers have varied marking patterns others opined that the delay in returning the answer scripts to their rightful owners was merely because teachers hadn’t corrected the answer scripts in time. However, the truth remains that the students of the English department of LSR had not received the answer scripts of the mid-term examination that they appeared for a month ago till very recently.

Sakshi Ghai, a 3rd year student of Philosophy was a recent victim of this sadistic mechanism. “After having scored 91 in my one of my papers I was shocked to hear my teacher contemplating reducing 4 marks in each question post moderation.” she said. It is important to note that it is only students studying theoretical subjects who would be affected by moderation. Meanwhile, students who chose to tread the path of ‘ignorance is bliss’ were delighted with the delay in knowing their impending fate.

The suspense created by the examiners was a heady one although anticlimactic in nature for many. “The hue and cry about moderation was for nothing as it hasn’t reflected in my marks at all.” Confessed Adilah Ismail, a 2nd year student of English Literature.

The moderation mayhem may have affected students of various departments differently but it has taught them an important life lesson which is to approach life with a tinge of irony instead of heroism or despair.

Pragya Lal
[email protected] 

Fourth year in the running, despite vehement protests, the students of Delhi University continue to face the problem of marks moderation. The issue is that there is actually no sound basis for this moderation and not all colleges have been subject to it.

Ever since results have been declared for the annual year 2008 – 2009, infuriated students from well known colleges of the north and south campus have been protesting outside the Vice chancellor’s office demanding an explanation for the scaling down of their marks.

The list of colleges affected include Sriram Ram College Of Commerce, Lady Sri Ram College for Women , MirandaHouse, Gargi and Jesus and Mary College .In most of these colleges, both the students and staff ,have actively participated in the remonstration against the allegedly baseless moderation of marks. Almost all departments have faced this problem.

In the mathematics department of LSR, a minimum of 8 marks has been lopped off for most students, which is a loss of almost three percent. The Economics , English and Sociology departments have lost a minimum of four marks .In Delhi University where competition is so stiff, the moderation affects students’ university ranking. Students from these colleges have also lost out on first divisions as a consequence of this The philosophy department of MH has been of the victim not only this year but also the year before this. This moderation especially happens in Logic, which is the most scoring subject of the department. Last year, 5 marks had been deducted from the logic paper in spite of the paper being scoring. This year, a lot of students had to bear the brunt as marks have been cut left, right and centre. A student from the Philosophy dept, 2nd year adds on ” We did not expect this to happen. I myself had got 22 in my internal assessment but now my marks are scaled down to 14. Philosophy is as it is not a very scoring subject and logic is the only paper where we can fetch high marks, but sadly this has been very shattering”.

Regular protests in the form of dharnas have been held outside the Vice Chancellor’s office. Statistical proof has been presented. Concerned authorities reasoned out the scaling by saying that the system is unbiased and is done in colleges and for students whose college average of marks show a great amount of aberrance from the university average of marks. A message was also passed on from the Dean of Students Welfare that it was impossible to revert the marks but from the following year a bigger moderation committee would be formed in order to avoid such problems. This announcement was met with even greater objection because the idea of these protests was the abolition of such a committee.

Also marks for the students with low college averages have been scaled down and hence the logic of uniform marking doesn’t hold either. The students are now demanding a rational basis for these steps from the Vice Chancellor.