Saturday, November 22, 2008

VTU reval fails to pass muster.

Courtesy:Bangalore Mirror.

VTU reval fails to pass muster

An engineering student at Visvesvaraya Technological University gets 68 marks in a subject but his mark card shows 17. The university then keeps the student, who has applied for revaluation, on tenterhooks for an agonising two months and forces him to shell out about Rs 1000, all for no fault of his!

The photo copy which says the student has secured 68 marks
Politicians and bureaucrats are our favourite whipping boys for all the real and imagined wrongs in society, so it comes as a shock to realise that universities are not so sacrosanct afterall. Their workings are often inscrutable and byzantine and students’ concerns are rarely their priority.

Ponder this: How much does it cost to get 18 sheets of paper photocopied? A maximum of Rs 18 assuming you pay Re 1 per copy. However, the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) collects a fee of Rs 550 from students who seek photocopies of their answer scripts.Sadly, students have to pay up even when it is the university’s fault.

68 TURNS 17
On Sept 14, the VTU announced the results of fourth semester BE course. Prashanth (name changed for obvious reasons), who had fared well throughout his engineering course, found he had failed in one of the subjects.

He was shocked, even shattered, for he had never seen a fail under his name till this day. He promptly applied for a photocopy of his answer script. After around two months of nail-biting anxiety, the time VTU takes to photocopy 18 pages of your answer paper, the copy he got revealed 68 marks written clearly by the evaluator in
big bold letters.

How did 68 become 17 in the final result? Nobody knows. Whom to ask? Nobody knows. What happens to the Rs 550 (photocopy fees) plus Rs 450 (revaluation fees)? Again, nobody knows. And then, what about the mental agony the student had to undergo as a consequence of the wrong result?

Another such case (scores of cases happen every year and go unreported), is of a BE fifth-semester student Sushanto K R (name changed), who got just 14 marks for a certain paper. Aghast, he applied for a photocopy and revaluation of his answer sheet. The photocopy showed 63 marks, but the revaluation saw only a four marks increase, which made it 18. Now his only option is to go in for a challenge-revaluation that costs Rs 5,000.

What’s happening to all the money? Why are the students repeatedly paying for errors that are clearly committed due to the university’s negligence? God knows. The university’s attitude seems to be: It doesn’t matter that the fault is solely and completely ours. Keep coughing up money if you want to see any justice done by us. Period.

There have been a lot of complaints about the VTU’s sins of omission and commission. There is hard evidence too of all this in the form of answer sheets and final mark cards, but all this has never made the University mend its ways.
Tomorrow, if we see a headline about a bright student committing suicide on seeing a fail certificate under his name, we will debate and discuss over our morning tea the cowardly acts of students nowadays. Sure the student is to blame, but should he be the only one?

An engineering college principal said, “The revaluation fee is Rs 450 and challenge-evaluation fee is Rs 5,000. If a student gets 16 or more marks after revaluation, he is entitled for 60 per cent refund. In case, if he wants to go for challenge-evaluation, then also he gets only 60 per cent money back. In any case, a student is set to lose 40 per cent of money for the officials’ mistake. Moreover, the student can get back the money only after a wait of a couple of months”.

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