45% students feel ethical standards not up to mark at IIT-B

Assessment reveals that students believe that academic malpractices in class exams seem to be less prevalent,with 68 per cent finding no fault with the current system.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published: December 5, 2013 2:07 am

Around 45 per cent of students who were part of a survey at IIT Bombay have said ethical standards are not up to the mark at the institute.

The survey had 352 to 400 anonymous responses to various questions. Around 50 out of 398 respondents said that ethical standards at the institute are “very poor and have reached worrisome levels”,while 129 said it was not good and should be improved. Around 40 per cent,however,seemed undecided and said while the standards were acceptable,they could be better.

An ethics committee,set up by the institute in 2012,had recommended a slew of strict measures this year. The survey was part of the steps taken by the committee to gauge how students viewed ethics in general.

Significantly,170 or 48 per cent respondents listed their hostel inmates and fellow students as those who have the maximum influence in shaping their ethical standards. Only 10 per cent or 36 students voted institute regulations and administration to be factors that “significantly influence” their standard of ethics,while 54 attributed it to teaching assistants and senior students.

“Of all the responses,this is perhaps the most unexpected. These responses make it clear that the attitude of one’s co-students is a far more important deciding factor than the precedents set by senior,” says an assessment of the results in the online edition of ‘Insight’,the student media body of IIT Bombay.

The survey also establishes that a majority of the students is not aware of the specific rules and the penalties in place to tackle academic malpractices. Around 250 or 79 per cent were unaware of the specific regulations and penalties,while 58 respondents said they were totally unaware of the rules and penalties. A meagre 19 per cent said they knew about the rules and penalties through official sources.

In response to a question on whether take-home assignments should be part of the learning process,24 per cent or 93 students dismissed it completely,stating that such assignments should not be graded as copying is rampant. Another 170 or 43 per cent believe that stronger policing is needed,while 18 per cent or 72 said graded assignments are a possibility in the current scenario. Again,60 students said take-home assignments should not be graded.

Further assessment reveals that students believe that academic malpractices in class exams seem to be less prevalent,with 68 per cent finding no fault with the current system. While 134 respondents said barring occasional hiccups,exams were fairly okay,139 said there were zero or little malpractices. Only 48 respondents or 12 per cent believed that there were serious problems of integrity in the exam system.

mikika.basu@expressindia.com

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