JNUSU demands VC resignation, alleging that questions found to be copied from multiple websites
In a shocking development in the country’s premiere institution Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), incidences of leaked question papers and questions replicated from guide books, have come to the limelight. The JNU students’ union (JNUSU) alleged that questions in the examination for two linguistic courses and economic courses were copied were from websites that provide study material.
This development comes on the heels of introduction of online Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) based papers for the JNU entrance examination (JNUEE) instead of a mixture of subjective and objective questions in the offline question papers. The entrance examination has also been outsourced to the National Testing Agency (NTA) for the first time. The evaluation has been outsourced to another external and private agency. The JNUSU has alleged that the decision to go online was taken “unilaterally” by the Vice Chancellor Jagadish Mamidala.
“Question papers of these courses were found copied from different available sources. Large chunks of questions were found to have been copied from various websites. Many questions are vague, often phrased poorly, but worse, others have more than one correct answer”, noted the JNUSU president Sai Balaji.
The JNUSU has demanded a “judicial probe” into the incident.
On June 11, the JNUSU had claimed that the questions in the entrance exam for the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP), were taken from substandard websites.
|Website||Number of Questions|
|UGC NET Past Year Questions||08|
Note: Some questions are available at multiple websites.
For more examples, see the attachment
Interestingly, a lot of the questions, the JNUSU found to be copied from various websites and UGC-NET papers. It said that many questions were vague, framed poorly and some even had more than one correct answer.
“The Linguistics MA and MPhil papers were plagiarised and copied massively from various sources. The linguistics questions have been found to be copied verbatim or nearly verbatim from R Gupta's Popular Master Guide UGC-NET Linguistics Paper II and III 2015 edition.”
Previously, a student had written to the VC of the varsity and claimed that the exam papers of BA First year cluster one of Russian, French, Spanish and German held on May 28 were found circulating on May 28.
The Union also claimed that students had to face difficulties at various stages of the entrance examination process right from the application till the online test.
It said, "Wide-scale errors in the answer key provided by the NTA have been reported by students. Rather than correcting these flaws, NTA through a public notice on June 6, sought challenges to the answer key with a processing fee of Rs. 1000," they claimed.
Instead of correcting the flaws, the candidates were merely given a short notice of 48 hours to challenge the answer key and moreover they were required to pay an exorbitant amount of Rs. 1000 for each question challenged. Moreover, the procedure to address the challenge wasn’t specified and the declaration of result was scheduled for June 10, a day after the deadline for the challenges was to lapse. The JNUSU said this posed “mounting challenges” in front of candidates even if they knew the answers were wrong.
The union also highlighted that how, in the absence of the JNU represenetatives during the conduct of the exam [in the background of the outsourcing of the exam to NTA] reports of “malpractice and cheating” were brought to the Union’s notice.
It also alleged that the JNU VC “tampered” with faculty selection committees, “forgetting politically biased faculty appointments done, where even individuals with well documented reports of plagiarism have been appointed and given top administrative posts.”
It said that the JNU VC lacked seriousness in dealing with the malpractice.
The Union also took a dig at the absence of criticism from the student wing of the establishment, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and their conspicuous silence on the matter. It said, “ABVP and JNU VC share the common vision of destroying JNU.”
"The JNUSU demands restoration of JNU's time tested offline entrance system having a suitable mix of subjective and objective questions.
"We also demand that the JNU vice-chancellor must immediately step down taking responsibility for this shocking leak, massive copying of question papers from online question banks and ruining careers and lives of students," the union said. The varsity has not responded to any of the questions raised by the Union.