Marks for cash scam in Anna varsity

By Santhosh Mathevan Published on Aug 02, 2018 03:00 PM IST

Chennai:  It costs Rs 10,000 per paper for a student to clear semester examinations conducted by Anna University.

Yes, in a shocking twist, the former Controller of Examinations of the top engineering university of the State, along with nine other officials from the campus and its affiliated colleges, were booked by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) on an allegation of scam during the revaluation of a semester examination in 2017.

On Wednesday evening, a professor from the Department of Information Science G V Uma, two assistant professors from the campus P Vijayakumar and R Sivakumar, were booked by the DVAC. During the semester examinations held in 2017, Uma was the Controller of Examinations, while the other two were in responsible positions at the Tindivanam zone of the university's CoE. It was found by the DVAC that Uma, Vijayakumar and Sivakumar were jointly involved in the scam.

According to a release from the DVAC, following the raids at the residences and offices of the three accused on Wednesday, "Several incriminating documents were seized during this house search. Certain documents pertaining to the purchase of properties by Uma, formerly Controller of Examinations, have also been seized."

It also added that seven examiners from Tindivanam region were also involved by the three accused in the scam. The accused received Rs 10,000 per student for clearing a paper in the revaluation process.

PAST EXPERIENCE

Following this, News Today wanted to check the revaluation process. For the past few years, a lot of students from the affiliated colleges of Anna University received unexpected results in semester examinations.

"Once, in an examination, all questions I attempted would be worth worth 19 marks. So, I failed in the examination. My friends used to say that the revaluation process would be lucky. So, to test my luck, I applied for revaluation and I was totally surprised to see that I got a D grade in the paper. D grade means I have scored between 56 and 60. I still do not know how it happened," said a former student of a Tiruchi-based engineering college affiliated to Anna University.

He also said he tried to make similar revaluation attempts in future examinations, too, but none was successful.

Likewise, P Raghuram, a college topper from a campus in Nagercoil, said, "During my third semester, I was shocked that I received U grade, which means fail, in a theory paper. I was depressed and wanted to apply for revaluation."

Usually, theory papers will have different marks by different examiners, as everyone has their own perception. "But, for me, the margin of difference was huge as I was awarded A grade, which means my score would be between 81 and 90 out of 100," Raghuram added.

KEY QUESTION

Many students of Anna University had similar experiences. Even educationists raised this query every now and then. "The problem is that the process of valuation to revaluation is not yet streamlined. How does a huge marginal change happen in the same answer script? Is the answer key provided by the CoE during the valuation process so weak?" asked S Muthukumar, a city-based academician.

When asked about the scam, he said, "Paper chasing is nothing new in a State University. In this case, they have been caught, that's all. But, there are a lot of ambiguities: If a student fails in the examination, he applies for revaluation, paying around Rs 800. If he passes, ethically speaking, the revaluation charge has to be returned to him, as he is not responsible for the errors that happened during the original valuation. But, it does not happen."

According to Muthukumar, the university has earned at least Rs 75 crore in the last five years just through the process of revaluation. 'Proportionally, it would be higher than what it earns through the application cost of admission forms. The university needs to answer to many questions,' he added.

NO COMMENT

When News Today contacted the university's current Controller of Examinations, M Venkatesan, he declined to comment. Attempts made to reach Registrar Ganesan went futile.

THE CoE
The statute of Anna University says, "The Office of the Controller of Examinations shall be responsible for maintaining the standard of all the university examinations. It is the duty of the office of the Controller of Examinations to arrange for preparation, scheduling, the conduct of university examinations, arranging for valuation of answer scripts and all other incidental matters connected with the conduct of examinations for all the affiliated non-autonomous engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu."

REVALUATION PROCEDURE
·    Students have to pay Rs 300 initially to get a photocopy of their answer sheet.

·    A college staff has to valuate the photocopy and see if there is a possibility of the student passing.

·    The paper has to be signed by the staff.

·    After this, the candidate has to pay Rs 400 for revaluation.

·    So, the total amount would be Rs 700 per paper.

·    If the students are not satisfied even after the revaluation, they can go for the next option of challenging the university by paying Rs 2,000.

·    In case they pass in the challenge valuation, the university will refund the Rs 2,000.