August 10th, 2016
According to reply to a Right To Information (RTI) application, the University of Mumbai made Rs 7.52 crore in fees to re-evaluate answer sheets and Rs 41 lakh making photocopies of the answer sheets in the last three years. However, the authorities from MU said that the amount is high because the number of students who apply for re-evaluation every semester is also high. The academicians were surprised knowing the amount of money. They believe that the university is exploiting students.
Numbers that matters
RTI revealed that the university made Rs 2.67 crore between April 2013 and March 2014 for the re-evaluation of answer sheets and Rs 15.63 lakh for photocopies of the answer books. In the next two academic sessions, the re-evaluation fees stood Rs 4.8 crore and Rs 25.3 lakh for photocopies. Mumbai University charges Rs 100 per subject for photocopies of answer booklet and Rs 500 per subject for review.
Officials from MU told Hindustan Times, “Since 2010, two sessions of examinations are conducted every year, and MU conducts more than 426 examinations, with 2.5-3 lakh students appearing for examinations in each term. These numbers will obviously show up in the fee collected, but that doesn’t mean we are cheating students.”
Mumbai University is not the only educational institution that has a dubious earning from re-evaluation. Recently, a reply to RTI revealed that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is also not following the RTI norms. Students who intend to verify their marks would have to pay a fee of Rs. 300. Also, to obtain a copy of the answer book, an additional fee of Rs. 700 would have to be paid.
CBSE also charges students
A landmark ruling of the Supreme Court of India in 2011 (CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors. –Civil Appeal No. 6454/2011), states that evaluated Answer-sheets of candidates is Information under Right to Information Act, 2005. But CBSE doesn’t follow the Supreme Court’s ruling and according to CBSE students who intend to verify their marks would have to pay a fee of Rs. 300. Also, to obtain a copy of the answer book, an additional fee of Rs. 700 would have to be paid. Two law students, Kumar Shanu and Paras Jain, have filed a Contempt Petition against Chairman of CBSE before the Supreme Court of India.
The Logical Indian is appalled by the numbers the RTI query reveal. For many poor students, this expenditure is huge. To charge the students for potential mistakes while evaluating papers is in a way institutionalising of money looting from students in addition to the huge amount of money students pay for their fees and other expenses. We request the government to constitute an independent committee to look into the issue and advice on a way forward that does not warrant students to pay money for evaluation of their papers. There should be some strict rule fixed on charges of re-evaluation and getting photocopies of answer sheets. The government should intervene and look into the matter.