Yet again the students are left to suffer due to alleged mismanagement and discrepancies in an entrance exam. The case in question is the admission test for the LLB course in the prestigious Delhi University conducted on June 18. More than 17,000 students from across the country took this examination, which was being conducted online for the first time. Several students complained of the answer responses being tampered with which is said to have caused loss of over 100 marks. 22 of them have gone ahead and filed a writ petition asking for quashing of the examination held on June 18 and subsequent results announced on July 11.
After the petition was filed against the gross mismanagement of the exam, the first hearing was held on August 1. DU, against whom the petition was filed was asked to provide a response on September 7, which it failed to do, forcing the hearing to be postponed to September 26 now.
“Answers tampered with”
This is the first year of DU LLB entrance exam shifting from a pen and paper exam to an online format. The tender for conducting this nation-wide exam was given to Aptech, a private firm. Reportedly, Aptech has been embroiled in controversies for its alleged inefficiency in conducting a transparent and fair exam. In March this year, Aptech conducted the exam for recruitment to the post of junior engineer to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), which was subsequently scrapped and a case was registered against Aptech for alleged abnormality, proceedings of which are still on. The constable recruitment exam, again conducted by Aptech, in Rajasthan had to be postponed because of the cheating racket and remote access of systems. Aptech was also named in the FIR against the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam recruitment exam in April 2018.
As per the tender request issued by the Delhi University for the conduct of Computer Based Test- Delhi University Tests (CBT-DUET), even if the bidder fulfils eligibility criteria, it is still liable to disqualification if it has a past record of “poor performance”. However, the DU LLB exam was conducted by Aptech.
One of the candidates, who lost more than a 100 marks due to alleged tampering, told The Logical Indian, “They are supposed to provide us with the response sheet which allows one to see the question and answer recorded by a candidate. We were not aware of it. We were provided with the sheets when explicitly asked for, against a DD of Rs 500, that is, days after the exam was conducted. A lot of candidates including me could clearly see that our response sheets were tampered with.”
Another student claimed, “I ran pillar to post, literally begging for the audit copy.”
Audit copy gives the timeline of events during the duration of exam, for example, it records the time when a student clicks the back button or marks/unmarks an answer. “When I finally received the audit copy, I noticed that even after my exam ended at 10 am, there seemed to be an activity through my account. When I inquired about the same, I was told that this could be because of some buffering of the server. This explanation, to me, seemed incorrect,” the candidate alleged.
The writ petition filed, a copy of which is available with The Logical Indian, also states that the results were announced on July 11, instead of previously decided date of July 4. Moreover, the petitioners have claimed that the results were pulled down three times after being uploaded to the site.
Mismanagement at exam centres
Some students have even claimed that there was mismanagement during the conduct of the exam as well. Students were asked to sit where ever they wished to. “The biometric verification was done post the exam,” laments one of the candidates.
Attempts to reach concerned Delhi University authorities for comments by The Logical Indian were unsuccessful.
The Logical Indian take
There have been several past instances where students have suffered due to misconduct of exam. A candidate puts in months and sometimes years of hard work to prepare for an examination.
In this case, counselling is already over, and the classes will soon commence. It needs to be seen how things turn out students who have been allegedly wronged. We hope that the concerned authorities provide relief to the aggrieved students.