The examinee is better than the examiner,’ wrote the teacher on the answer sheet of India’s first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, when he was a student, in deference to his intellect. But the case of the Haryana student who saw a hefty increase in marks after the ‘re-evaluation’ of an already re-evaluated answer sheet at Indira Gandhi University has given rise to a controversy instead. After the first re-evaluation, the marks actually decreased, though marginally, and the student made a representation to the VC for reconsideration of his results following which his final score jumped substantially. The father of the student, a former head of the department, has maintained that his son was a meritorious student and the less marks in two papers were a case of injustice to him. But it is his reported presence in the re-evaluation room that has added to the problem. The VC has now ordered a re-examination, with university officials saying re-evaluation of already re-evaluated answer sheets cannot be done as per rules.
The right of a student to seek remedy in case of the result not being to his satisfaction is justified because it concerns his career. Boards and universities provide institutional redress for this, and re-evaluation is one of the ways. Students sometimes face the hazard of the marks getting reduced due to errors in adding up the total or other factors. The VC might have the discretionary power to order re-evaluation of an already re-evaluated sheet, but if the increase in marks has been substantial and the student’s grievance is justified, it shows negligence in checking the copy. Responsibility for this should be fixed. Some institutions provide for ‘re-totalling’. If the student is not satisfied, he can ask for re-evaluation and further to see the answers. There is a prescribed fee and time limit within which it can be done. A thorough inquiry should be conducted into the incident.
Haryana has prided itself on being an education hub. Some of the finest universities are located in Sonepat. Rewari, where the incident has taken place, has seen a boost to educational infrastructure. Such incidents may sully the image of the state. Better to set the record straight.