Against the backdrop of students of Delhi University’s maths department protesting against mass failure for over a month now, physics students too have shown that 94% first-semester students in the varsity’s MSc Physics programme failed in either theory or internals or both in the examinations conducted in December 2018.
Pointing at “systemic failing” of students, by compiling data from the university’s results portal, students found that out of 279 first-year students in MSc Physics, 262 had failed either in theory examinations, internal testing or both in at least one subject. The results for the first-semester examinations were declared on March 7.
A large part of this seems to be because of widespread failing of students in the Electro-Magnetic Theory paper, in which 101 students failed the theory examination and 258 failed in internal testing.The overall failure rate is high across colleges — 28 out of 30 students failed from Miranda House; 7 out of 7 from SGBT Khalsa College; 48 out of 50 from Hindu College; 54 out of 54 from Kirori Mal College; 55 out of 56 from Ramjas College; and 5 out of 7 from St Stephen’s College.
Students of the Physics department have now joined the chorus against widespread failing of students, which began on February 14 with students of MSc Mathematics, who are still protesting. The protest by math students had started after 35 out of 39 students failed in the third-semester Computational Fluid Dynamics Paper, and 150 out of 300 students failed in the first-semester Field Theory Paper.
Among the primary grievances by students is the re-evaluation fee of Rs 1,000 per paper, and that students have to wait for a year before supplementary examinations are conducted to get a chance to rectify the results.
“The number of students failing across departments is shocking. The re-evaluation fee is not affordable for all students and should be reduced to under Rs 100. But most importantly, time is so important for us. With most students waiting to clear supplementary exams, they are unable to move forward in life despite clearing NET, getting JRF and admission for further studies,” said a student from the Physics department.
Sachin N, a teacher from Dyal Singh College, said, “The students who make it to DU’s masters programmes do so through a competitive process. If students are failing at this scale, there has to be some kind of introspection, but there is a complete lack of institutional mechanism to redress this issue.” DU’s Physics department head could not be reached for a comment.