It’s going to be a stormy Friday at the University of Madras. A Syndicate meeting is likely to raise the issue of only 30 of the 51 persons indicted by an enquiry report being charge-sheeted.

Among the 21 others is the controller of examinations T. Leo Alexander.

On May 31, an enquiry report revealed allegations of malpractices during correspondence course exams and B.E./B. Tech exams held last year. While the first report submitted by a panel headed by S. Karunanidhi implicated 30 persons, the second, under the chairmanship of K. Subburaj, added 21 names to the list. In the first week of June, T. Leo Alexander resigned from his post of registrar. He has declined to talk to the media since then.

“The Syndicate was unanimous in its decision to charge-sheet the 30 staff members. Questionnaires have been sent seeking their explanation within 15 days,” said G. Thiruvasagam, vice chancellor, University of Madras. He, however, declined to name the charge-sheeted members.

Sources said the 30 members were the same persons indicted by the S. Karunanidhi committee in December 2011. Since the report contained only primary information, the university constituted another four-member panel with K. Subburaj as the convenor.

The committee, indicted 21 more staff, including Mr. Alexander and data entry staff. At the May 31 Syndicate meeting, the vice chancellor read out the report but did not give a copy of it to any of the members. “No Syndicate member asked me for a copy of the report,” Mr. Thiruvasagam says.

According to insiders, the Subburaj committee report has shocking findings on the evaluation system of the university. The Syndicate members were given only extracts of the report.

A source in possession of the report reveals that 275 out of 500 answer scripts were tampered with. In the case of Institute of Distance Education (IDE) exams, the superintendents at the exam centres had the foil sheets in their possession for a long time.

“When we asked T. Leo Alexander, Controller of Examinations, to produce the record of the date and time the foil sheets were submitted to him, he had no answer,” said a committee member on condition of anonymity.

After the answer sheets are submitted to the controller of examination’s office, they are sent for data entry where marks are keyed into the system. “When we asked him the record detailing the data entry process, he had no answers,” the member says. Incidentally, the data entry section mostly comprises temporary staff.

“This is only regarding IDE exams. The malpractices at the B.E / B.Tech exams are worse,” the member says. In preparing the timetable for the B.E / B.Tech exams, the controller of examinations has to take concurrence from the vice chancellor but he did not. A university staff member who was assigned duty at a suburban engineering college had changed the time table on his own.

Syndicate members, representing associations of teachers and principals, had vehemently raised the issue at the last meeting. “The charge-sheeting of the 30 persons is just the start of the process. We will ensure everyone who is involved is charge sheeted,” said a senior syndicate member.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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