Days after students alleged paper leak in the Political Science department, the question paper of M.A (Economics) in the recently concluded Jawaharlal Nehru University entrance examination came under question on Tuesday, June 11, after students alleged that it was sourced from sub-standard websites. The students of the department alleged that in the test, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on May 27, 16 questions were sourced from chegg.com, another 11 were taken from quizlet.com and 15 were picked up from coursehero.com.
Manish, a PhD scholar at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP), said, “The entire fiasco was revealed after NTA uploaded the question paper and answer key on the website. At the first glance, the nature of questions raised eye-brows. When we searched the internet, we were astonished to find out that at least 78% questions were sourced from these sub-standard websites. Can it be purely coincidental? I guess no."
He emphasised that the process from the beginning was exclusionary. He said, “No faculty or students were taken into confidence before the exam but the most problematic aspect is the availability of questions on these websites. It breeds bias as it will allow the applicants that align with the understanding of administration to get admitted.”
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N Sai Balaji, president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) said that the episode has revealed that no due norms were followed and it could have been done in connivance with the administration. He said, “The availability of these questions increases the chances of leaking. They have just collated the questions from these websites and prepared the question paper. This is unprecedented!”
He added, "The experience of M.A International Relations showed that the administration uploaded six wrong answers in its answer key. If students were to highlight the discrepancy, they must pay Rs 1,000 per question. How is it justified. Thus, we demand a judicial enquiry into the matter."
Not just students, even the teachers are shocked at the level of the question paper. Vikas Rawal, Professor at the Centre argued, “I do not know if the websites are sub-standard or not, but there is certainly an ethical and moral part related with it." He added that unlike previous years, the faculty was not kept in the loop regarding the admission process. "Earlier, the admission committee used to be formed where all faculty members would contribute. How things have transpired this year, we do not any have clue about it. How the centre prepared it and conducted the examinations, they can only explain," he said.
National Testing Agency Chairman Vineet Joshi could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts. However, another agency official, requesting anonymity, said, “The agency only conducted the entrance examinations and was not involved in preparation of the question paper. The JNU admission committee must answer it. We have conducted papers like NEET. We can assure the entrance process remains intact and full-proof."
CESP Chairperson Pradipta Chaudhury remained unavailable for his response.
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