Something is Seriously Wrong with ILS Pune’s [University of Pune] Examination and Evaluation System

For example, a chunk of second year students have scored an identical 28 marks in the political science paper.

Recently, the suicide of a first year student studying in ILS Law College under the University of Pune (UoP), one of India’s premiere law institutions, caused a lot of stir.

The prima facie reason for committing suicide seems to have been the low scores in his university examinations.

A score of 5 on 100 in English (according to the latest media reports this score was changed to 28 on 100 when checked by his parents), 0 on 100 in History and 40 on 100 in Economics, seems to have goaded the student into taking the extreme step.

This incident brings to light a couple of logical inconsistencies.

In a college where students get admission strictly on the basis of merit, it’s very absurd for a student to score marks in single digits.

Also, the subsequent change in the marks of the said student creates an ambiguity as to the evaluation process of the UoP.

It’s highly unfortunate that it has taken an incident of this nature to bring the modus operandi of the university to the notice of many. However, as per the students it has been a perennial malady and needs to be urgently addressed and significantly reformed.

According to a majority of students, there seems to be an inherent problem with the examination system.

Over the years, the marks that they have scored in the semester examinations are not directly proportional to the quality of answers written, which leads them to believe that the evaluation is based on the aesthetic appearance of the answer script and that quantity rather than quality holds an upper hand.

Needless to say, students are the best judges of their own academic performance.

The grievances of the students do not end here. As per a fourth year student, “Last year, I had scored a 47 in Family Law II and a 76 in Professional Ethics. The range of marks scored by many in different subjects in one semester considerably varies.

 There are innumerable examples across all batches where students invariably end up scoring less in one subject. The students feel that the results do not correspond with their expectations thereby de-motivating them and demeaning their hard work.

Some students think that there are anomalies in the marks. For example, a chunk of second year students have scored an identical 28 marks in the political science paper. It is very strange for students to score exactly the same marks.

Also, most of the third year students have scored in the range of fifties in the subjects of Family Law, IPC and in the theory subject of Criminology. This episode has managed to raise quite a few eyebrows.

The remedy made available is that of ‘re-evaluation’.

Technically, it is an option given to the students once results are declared, though practically it isn’t.

Considering the marks that the students end up scoring, they HAVE to apply for re-evaluation, thereby, making it an inevitability rather than a choice.

Though a bulk of students apply for re-evaluation, only a handful of them are ‘lucky’ enough to secure an increment. Many a time, students who genuinely deserve an increment fail to get the same.

Additionally, the range of increase in marks after the said procedure is shockingly high.

There have been instances wherein students have gotten an increment of up to 30 marks in a subject, which in itself puts a question mark on the marking and evaluation system.

Apparently, one of the major policy changes of the university this academic year is the substantial hike in the re-evaluation fees. Until last year, the amount per subject was about Rs. 450/-, however, the amount per subject seems to have been raised almost to the likes of the amount that we pay as examination fees for one semester, for reasons undisclosed.

Due to the substantial hike in the re-evaluation fees, there prevails resentment among students who feel that the university is being inconsiderate towards the economically underprivileged students who cannot possibly afford to ‘waste’ such a huge amount.

Also, the re-evaluation results are declared only ten to fifteen days prior to the next semester examinations, keeping the students in limbo.

All these problems essentially come with certain worries and concerns for the students and their parents. Be it to secure admissions for higher studies abroad or for the purpose of securing a decent placement, the statement of marks is of prime importance.

With the kind of marks that the university has been awarding the students, they might end up being an impediment to the future of many. Also, we cannot belittle the impact that these marks have on the self-esteem of the students who work really hard for the examinations.

The marks that I get after slogging hard for a month and a half actually makes me question my intellect”, said a disheartened first year student.

It’s high time now that these issues are taken up seriously and addressed diligently by the concerned authorities; for we cannot afford to face another suicide to wake us up.

Also, the re-evaluation results are declared only ten to fifteen days prior to the next semester examinations, keeping the students in limbo.

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