Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2017-02-18 09:21 A recent report published by The Hindu newspaper said that II pre-university students writing their finals from March 9 will not be allowed to give exams in their own colleges, but allotted centres in other colleges, as a preventive measure to stop malpractice and cheating. The move reportedly is being implemented only in cities and not in rural areas. The unprecedented move by The Department of Pre-University Education Board is to ensure “a glitch-free PU exam”. “To add to the confusion in 2016, evaluators awarded grace marks to students although the department had decided against it. The exam will end on March 27. A committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, has been appointed to look into various reforms related to pre-university education, including those for exams,” the report said.We all know that the PUC examination is a huge system with about 6.58 lakh students taking examination in about 1000 centres. PU Board officials should always be careful in making changes to such a huge system and not to take drastic action to topple the apple cart. For example, the reasons quoted for shifting the students from their own college to some nearby college appears to be absurd. In what way are the question paper leakage and awarding of grace marks during valuation related to malpractices in the examination? Don’t the administrators know that the question paper leakage and awarding grace marks is not the handiwork of students but it is the indifference of some officials and brokers involved in the examination? Why should innocent students suffer for the inept, inefficient handling of the process by the administrators at the helm of affairs? Have they not thought about the discomfort and tension it creates in the young minds and also the additional burden for the parents?The PU Board should take preventive measures and tighten the system to avoid malpractices at the administrative level. Instead of shifting the helpless students to other centres, let them take steps to send the invigilation and supervising staff from one college to some other nearby college for conducting the exmination and this shall be done regularly on rotation basis. Also, the situation for awarding grace marks arises due to the negligence of the person setting the question paper, the scrutiny committee or the printer/proof reader. How will the shifting of students to write exam in another college help to eliminate errors in the question paper?The second PUC examination is a crucial stage in the academic career of students and they need all support and comfort for writing the exam in a conducive environment. The decision taken by the PU education board is to be strongly condemned. The existing system should be continued in the interest of students. Questions for the PU board: 1. Why should the students suffer because the department is not able to control the erring teachers and management?2. Students during the exam time will be under a lot of tension and anxiety.3. If they have to travel to other schools and colleges located 15 kms and above, especially in cities like Bangalore, everybody knows how much time and money they have to spend on travelling. Every school or college may not be having school or college buses.4. If the bus facilities are not there in schools, their parents have to accompany the students leaving their daily official work.5. Instead of shifting the students, the department should shift the faculty for doing invigilation work to other college, since teachers are getting remuneration and TA-DA, and their numbers are small compared with the students.6. The number of examination centres is about 1000. Even if 20 teachers from each college are deputed to other centers, we will be sending only 20,000 teachers at the most. Otherwise, about 6.5 lakh students have to travel to different centres.7. This system is reportedly being implemented for the SSLC exam. That is also not good practice and need to be revoked.8. I do not know how shifting of students is linked to leakage of the papers and award of grace marks to students. Author:Dr. K. Balaveera Reddy, Former VC, VTU, Belgaum.