How Anna University examination system is breached

By Santhosh Mathevan Published on Aug 06, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Chennai: Last weekend can be said as one of the worst times in recent years for Anna University, as the top engineering institute's quality came under the scanner.

As many as 10 former officials and valuators related to the varsity's examination body were suspended by the management after a case booked by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) for their alleged involvement in bribery during the revaluation process of August 2017.

At that time, as many as 3,02,380 students applied for revaluation, of which 73,733 passed. In this, about 16,636 got enhanced marks in the results.

According to reports, the former Controller of Examination of Anna University G V Uma, along with nine other staff of the CEG campus and University College of Engineering, Tindivanam were found to be involved in the scam.

A large number of students were said to have paid at least Rs 10,000 per paper as a bribe to get passed in the examination.

Though paper chasing is a long followed illegal tradition in the country's education system, an incident of this kind happening at Anna University, which is one of the top-ranked institutes by Union Ministry of Human Resources Development, has shocked the people and students.

'News Today' tried to trace how this paper chasing is being carried out in a systematised examination process of the varsity.

In a shocking twist, it was found that almost all such cases involve teaching staff of colleges across the State.

"When I had only one backlog in my fourth semester, I was totally down. At that time one of my department assistant professors on knowing this called me personally and said, he can easily solve this issue," said a former engineering student from a college in Nagercoil.

Hearing this, initially, he was happy that the process would be something clean. "I thought he would boost my mark in the photocopy attestation before submitting it to the University. But, what he told was something shocking," the former student said and added that the staff asked him to pay Rs 5,000 for the paper and the paper would be cleared.

"I have heard that the staff was a bit influential inside CEG campus within a distance of a phone call from Nagercoil. But, I never knew he was this much corrupt," he said. As he denied to offer the bribe, he could not pass in revaluation according to him.

"Later, I came to know that many students from different departments in our campus were clearing papers through that professor," he added.

In a similar instance, staff members of a college in Tiruchi are said to have been functioning as paper chasing agents. On the conditions of anonymity, a former student of the college, who is currently working for an MNC in Chennai told News Today, "Our college had a couple of agents. Most of them were teaching staff, while two were working in college administration. Once the revaluation process starts, they will prepare a list of students who can afford the bribe ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000, depending on the number of arrears they have. The students would be personally asked by the teaching staff members and they will follow up the process further if they are ready to offer money for marks."

Once students pay money, the sharing would be based on the significance of the official in the paper chasing process.

Associate professor from the same college A Maheshwaran said, "Zonal officers of examinations would get in touch with the CoE and would assign examiners who would cooperate by enhancing marks. At the end of the day, the bribe collected from thousands of students would be shared among these people. The CoE gets the maximum share, followed by the zonal officers. Shares would be allotted to college level agents and examiners based on how they bargain."

According to Maheswaran, agents and examiners would get shares ranging between 10 and 20 per cent. "Sometimes, agents who bring in more students would get a bigger share," he added.

Inflated rates over the years

Year   Amount of bribe in Rupees per paper
2005 to 2009  2,000 to 3,000
2009 to 2012 5,000 to 8,000
2012 to 2016  6,000 to 9,000
2016 and after Above 9,000