The result of the Persian Language exam in the University Grants Commission’s National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) — declared on September 29 — have thrown up some interesting numbers. Of the 125 questions in the paper, 94 allegedly had wrong answers. Of the 317 NET aspirants who took the exam, not a single one qualified. And to get the results re-evaluated, students may have to shell out Rs 94,000.
Some of the “answers”, according to a CBSE answer key, have flummoxed teachers and students alike.
According to it, the Zoroastrian god is called Khuda (it is Ahura Mazda) and the Tomb of Ferdowsi is situated in Iran’s Qazvin (it is located in Tus, Iran).
Of the three papers in the NET exam, paper I is common to all subjects, while paper II and paper III are subject-specific. The errors in the answers are evident in the answer key released by the CBSE, allege students and teachers. Some of them pointed out that a technician may have uploaded the wrong answer key.
“There are massive anomalies in the NET result…37 questions out of 50 in Paper II and 57 out of 75 questions in Paper III have wrong answers. Students and teachers across states, including the All India Persian Teachers’ Association, have written to both the UGC and the CBSE, but they keep on bouncing us from one place to the other without resolving the issue,” said Intekhab, a student of Persian from Jamia Millia Islamia.
UGC Chairperson Ved Prakash and sources in the CBSE, however, claimed that they have not received any such complaint.
“I haven’t received any complaint regarding the Persian paper yet…not a single candidate challenged the answer keys. But if candidates still think there is a problem, we have a provision under which they can challenge any number of questions within 30 days of the results, for a one-time fee of Rs 5,000. If we get any complaints during this period, we will definitely examine it,” said Prakash.
Students say that despite writing to both the CBSE and the UGC regarding the magnitude of the problem, they were told by the authorities to follow the standard procedure of grievance redressal: shelling out Rs 1,000 per question to challenge the answer.
“Instead of accepting their own error, how can they expect each examinee to pay Rs 94,000,” said Umar Akhlaque, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The problem is more complicated for NET aspirants who are not from Delhi. “We know there are grave errors but we don’t know how to resolve them or whom to approach since the highest bodies are in Delhi. This has never happened before,” said Abida from Allahabad University.
According to CBSE sources, the answer keys were released on August 18 and were open to the public till August 24, when the board invited candidates to challenge the answer keys.
CBSE officials claimed that not a single candidate challenged the Persian keys, while the board received 900 complaints regarding other papers. They added that the CBSE is examining the matter and has called another meeting of experts in the subject to check if the answer keys are indeed wrong.
To protest the “apathy of the UGC”, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) organised a protest outside the UGC office on Tuesday, asking the commission to constitute an expert panel to look into the anomaly.
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