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Anu Parthiban|May 29, 2023
NEW DELHI: Several students of Delhi University's BA (programme) Economics have alleged that most of the questions in the research methodology paper were out of the syllabus, leading to the university administration considering relief measures.
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The students claimed that they managed to attempt just two or three questions out of eight. Moreover, the question paper given to the students of semester four mentioned second semester, they said. Following representation from students, the university was mulling that the answer papers be evaluated "based on three questions" with each being allotted 25 marks.
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With the examination of graduate and postgraduate courses underway at the university, similar issues have also been reported in other courses, faculty members have alleged. The research methodology exam for semester four BA programmes (Economics) was conducted on May 16 in which the students were asked to attempt five out of eight questions. "Each question was of 15 marks. But we noticed that only two questions were from the syllabus. One more question partially was from the syllabus.
As soon as the examination began students raised the matter. "We also called up the university. The officials there told us that the question paper was fine so we conveyed the same to students," an economics faculty at a DU college told PTI. "We asked students to submit a representation to the Head of Economics and based on these representations a meeting was called and it was decided only three questions will be evaluated," said the faculty who did not wish to be named. Daksh, a second-year student from Zakir Hussain College (Evening) said that he was shocked to see the question paper.
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"I studied so hard but the entire paper looked out of the syllabus. I knew the answers to only two questions. Moreover, the question paper mentioned second semester. Some of the students raised the matter with the invigilators and who were told by the university that the paper was not out of the syllabus and asked us to attempt whatever we know," he said. A student of Aditi Mahavidyalaya who faced a similar experience said, "We were asked by other teachers to file an application. We did that... I studied so hard but I can still fail. The only relief I have is that none of us was able to attempt the entire paper so we are together in this."
The examination branch of Delhi University said that it received several representations in this matter and those were forwarded to the Economics department. "The papers are set by departments and we only ensure smooth conduct of the examination. We received the representations and forwarded those to the economics departments," Dean of Examination DS Rawat told PTI.
On May 24, a meeting of the research methodology question paper setters with all the teachers and moderators concerned was called by the Economics department to look into the matter. The minutes of the meeting stated, "The students were required to attempt five questions, each question carrying 15 marks. The college teachers pointed out that the students were able to attempt only three questions."
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"Therefore, it is decided that a student should be evaluated based on three questions and each question is allocated 25 marks. If a student has attempted more than three questions then the three best questions will be evaluated," the minutes of the meeting mentioned. Reacting to the development, Academic Council member Naveen Gaur claimed that a similar issue has been reported in examinations of many other courses and it shows that the DU examination system was collapsing.
Students claimed that questions of an examination for the second year political science students were out of the syllabus and an EWS exam for Non-Collegiate Women's Education Board (NCWEB) students too had out-of-the-syllabus questions. A second-year student of Hindu College claimed that their political science exam had two questions out of the syllabus.
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"We had to attempt four out of eight questions. So there was no problem we attempted fours question. But we formed out teachers who said the university has said the examination is from syllabus only," the student said. Gaur said the main reason for this was "the barrage of so-called reforms, including the semester system, that have been imposed on Delhi University". "The fact is our system is incapable of such large-scale changes (nearly six major changes in last 14 years) and the examination system has to take the maximum burden of these changes," he said.
Similar things are happening in many papers and sadly as a community, we have stopped getting outraged by such things. This is also indicative of our degradation," Gaur added.
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