In a notice that has stumped the deans of JNU schools, the university administration has asked them to hand over the ‘answer keys’ to questions in entrance exam papers, weeks before the exams are scheduled to be held.
Many schools have refused to comply with the letter, with deans and teachers expressing apprehension that such a move could “eliminate the role of teachers”, said university sources.
The notice, issued by Controller of Examinations (COE) Hanuman Sharma on April 26, asked deans to provide the answer keys by May 1.
Entrance exams to various JNU schools are usually held in the third week of May and their results are announced between June and July.
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While centres which have multiple-choice questions in their entrance exams provide their answer keys to the administration after the exam for computerised evaluation, the university sought answer keys from all schools, even those which have only papers requiring descriptive answers.
Several deans refused to comply, said sources, adding that they feared such a step was “dangerous” as with the answer keys, university officials could evaluate answersheets themselves.
The dean of a JNU school, on condition of anonymity, said, “Our school refused to send the answers… firstly, it was very dangerous to give the answers out even before the exams are held. Secondly, it could also eliminate our role, because then the administration could check answersheets themselves”.
Another dean said, “They could be working as per the CBSE mode, where answer keys are provided earlier, but JNU has never functioned like that. There are several things we take into account while checking a student’s paper,” he said.
Both deans also expressed confusion over how answer keys to descriptive question papers could be provided.
The notice to the deans had stated, “We request you to kindly provide the answer keys of objective question papers as well as descriptive question papers because according to the guidelines, the same is required to be uploaded on the website after the declaration of results”.
“In view of the above, you are requested to provide the answer keys in a sealed envelope, addressed to the COE by name, latest by May 10.” it added.
One of the deans said, “Every answer could have several interpretations, there is no fixed answer for these questions. Moreover, we need to assess not just the correctness of answers, but the applicants’ analytical skills, their cultural and political interpretation of issues etc, which can’t be judged from an answer key”.
COE Hanuman Sharma did not respond to calls by The Indian Express.