Following a mix-up in the question paper for the second semester MA History examination on Wednesday, the University of Kerala is all set to cancel the same.

Students who sat down to write the Indian History paper 2 — Feudalism to Colonialism — found that all the questions were from the Medieval Europe paper. The examination for this paper is scheduled for August 14.

“The responsibility for today’s mix-up lies with the question paper setter. He must have made this mistake while copy-pasting the different question papers. The university is in no way to blame for what happened. The formal announcement of the cancellation would be made in consultation with the Vice Chancellor,” he said.

Mr. Madhukumar said the MA History examination of August 14 would be held as scheduled. There are three sets of question papers for all examinations. One of the remaining two would be given for that day’s examination, he added.

Recurring problem

The Controller’s assertions notwithstanding, this is certainly not the first time that the varsity has had to postpone or cancel examinations owing to errors in question papers. There are those in the varsity who firmly believe such errors creep in thanks to systemic chinks in University of Kerala’s examination edifice.

Syndicate member K.L. Vivekanandan told The Hindu that had the question paper scrutiny committee for this examination met as scheduled, this error would have been spotted and corrected well before the day of the test.

“And this is not the case just with the MA History examination. I would, in fact, stress with confidence that the scrutiny committees for most of the examinations either do not meet at all or do a very shoddy job. Anyhow, the varsity should now identify the person/persons responsible for this mix-up and give them suitable punishment,” Dr. Vivekanandan said.

In this case, the scrutiny committee did meet and clear all three sets of question papers. “Yes, the scrutiny committee did meet and no, they did not point out any errors,” Mr. Madhukumar explained.

Leave alone “suitable punishment,” the university is generally not known for even giving a rap on the knuckles for lecturers or professors who author such goof-ups. Moreover, Wednesday’s question paper was set by a professor who works for another university. So the University of Kerala has no power to ‘punish’ the academic. All it can do is bar the person from setting question papers in future. The university pays an academic Rs.600 for each question paper set. The academic also gets Rs.500 or so for providing the answer key for the same. The academic is also given the TA/DA as applicable.