SRINAGAR: The students writing examinations for undergraduate paper – Interpretation of Quran – in Srinagar and Pulwama centres had to wait for more than one hour because the question papers had not been delivered at the designated centers.
After the students raised hue and cry over the callousness of the university officials, the question paper scheduled on February 27 was sent through messaging application – WhatsApp and a blurred image was circulated among the students. After receiving photograph, the supervisors photocopied it and distributed among students at the eleventh hour.
“For the premiere institute like Kashmir University, such mistakes convey a lot as to how much prepare our varsity is in conducting exams. The exam centres were not miles away or snow had not piled up to several feet where officials could have excused for their lethargic approach, but it wasn’t,” a group of students who sat in the above examinations told Kashmir Reader.
As per them, the photograph of sent question paper was too blurred that supervisors inside exam center had to guess what question is all about and sometimes even they were in doubt if they were correct in guessing a particular question.
The incident happened. Students suffered. Time passed. But nothing happened from the university. The victim students were expecting that responsibility would be fixed but what followed was even worse.
On February 27, the students writing the same exams and centres became victims of another fault by examination wing of Kashmir University but this time “officials went a step ahead”.
“We were handed over a question paper of same subject but from the different semester. Initially, we thought the paper has been framed differently but it wasn’t. Till then we were talking about a week-old blunder, and were expecting that extra care would be taken in future, but officials, as usual, proved us wrong,” say students.
What followed next, students say was the highhandedness of the supervisors. “They asked us to write the exams despite paper being from another semester. We resisted initially but later were forced to write the exams,” they said.
Recently in another incident, the candidates writing their examination for admission to integrated PhD programme in education at Kashmir University were surprised to find answers to every question marked in faded ink.
The candidates protested the callous approach of university and demanded re-examination of the said paper, saying, the mistake was at the cost of meritorious students. The university later suspended the examination and called for new exams in coming days.
The varsity has also been in much criticism over the “negligence” in evaluating answer books as dozens of students report the “unfair marking” by evaluators.
In the garb of restoring academic calendar, the students currently pursuing post-graduate courses at the varsity allege that no proper mechanism is followed by departments while holding semester exams.
“We have to appear in our semester exams from March 15, but at the same time we have been asked to attend daily classes for our elective open subjects. They want us to finish syllabus in few days which otherwise takes almost six months,” a group of post-graduate student said.
Given above examples, the university is seemingly not learning or making any effort to make conducting of examination free of blunders as no action either in past or in recent cases, was initiated against officials responsible for “playing” with careers of hundreds of students.
Controller Examinations, Prof AS Bhat, told Kashmir Reader said that the examination wing of varsity has been making serious efforts, especially from the last few years, to lessen errors and keep maximum fairness in all the examinations conducting by its wing.
He said that mistakes are part of professional work but it was due to voluminous work that officials have to finish in a very short span of time.
Referring to recent blunders, Bhat said that due to disruption in the academic calendar by last year’s uprising and floods in 2014, the officials of his wing had to finish scores of pending exams to restore academic calendar to its normal course.
“The mistakes have happened we admit it. The package was delayed but we utilized the available technology and managed it. But then our work load was so voluminous that it was very difficult to handle it. A small mistake can’t spoil our all work that we been doing. Now, I have issued directives to all that to be vigilant in all your preparedness work and keep minimum space for mistakes in future,” he said.
Bhat said that the varsity is intending to hold three semester exams in this year while restricting semester to just four months.
With annual post-graduate entrance examinations likely to start from April, the recent mistakes have posed a serious question mark on fair and objective conducting of crucial examination.