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.
Post the completion of the first semester in Delhi University, while opinions remain ambiguous regarding its fate as a successful attempt or tepid reform, the unwarranted difficulties spawned by it seem to emerge with discouraging regularity.
The introduction of new timetables at the beginning of a semester, while an integral feature of the system, however, has been the source of much inconvenience for the large percentage of the student body that still functions according to the annual calendar. Due to the re-structuring of teachers and syllabus according to the University-specified semester modules, annual students in LSR now find themselves flummoxed at having to change their timetables and teachers as an unpleasant side-effect.
“As if it wasn’t bad enough that they compartmentalized texts into capsules to be swallowed, this sudden switching of teachers and schedules is especially jarring as it strips our subject of consistency”, says a second-year English student of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Second and third year students of arts and text-intensive courses, including English, History, and Political Science are perhaps not wrong in their resentment at having this arbitrary measure inflicted upon them, especially since the benefits of the semester system (most notably, that of the uncharacteristically high marks) elude them.
Teachers, too, while sympathetic with the plight of the affected student body and in concurrence with the disjointed quality it imparts to the flow of study, have expressed inability to rectify the situation. Apart from the sudden mid-year changes for the annual students, it has also resulted in further pressure on Heads of academic departments to re-structure the schedules for all three years.
The general outcry appears to be that the official stance of the University may be touting the success of the semester system, but in its zeal to reform and revolutionize the system of education, the DU administration seems to have lost focus on the academic well-being of the annual students.