Teachers say they were made to give pass marks to failed students

The Anna University on Monday constituted a three-member committee to look into a charge that some students who had failed in the exams were given pass marks by a few assistant professors who were allegedly forced to do so.

“We have formed a three-member committee to probe the allegations,” said Anna University Vice Chancellor Mannar Jawahar, whose term ends on Tuesday. However, he was unwilling to disclose the names of the three committee members stating that it would not be appropriate at this time.

The malpractice came to light after a senior professor informed the Additional Controller of Examinations about the revaluation of marks by an assistant professor of the computer technology department of the Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet.

Purported copies of a letter written by a senior professor to a higher official, and a letter by the assistant professor concerned to the Chief Minister’s Cell are in circulation in the University. The senior professor’s letter says the assistant professor was asked to revalue 18 subjects on a single day, and that he had boosted the marks to 50 or 60 in all the 18 subjects of one student from the College of Engineering, Guindy, campus.

The assistant professor was made to re-evaluate papers in all the subjects for this particular student, besides all the second and third semester papers of the student. The Additional Controller of Examinations, who had taken charge only then, started collecting the answer scripts and was shocked by the malpractice, senior professors say.

Enquiries reveal that the assistant professor was not willing to go with the idea of revaluation, but was forced by higher-ups. In fact, the Additional Controller of Examinations, after unearthing the racket, was in a dilemma whether to take the issue to the government or leave the post, says a professor close to him.

Meanwhile, the assistant professor has written to the Chief Minister’s Cell hoping for higher level intervention. In his letter dated May 28, 2012, he gives details of what he was made to do and apologised for his deed.

Meanwhile, another assistant professor has also written to the government apologising for giving pass marks to students in some subjects in the examinations held in 2009-10, sources say.

“Because of instructions to reduce failures, we are asked to correct leniently. Even after that, there are always at least nine or 10 dismal cases of students who perform the worst and cannot pass. But mysteriously, some of them get pass marks ultimately,” said a senior professor.

Another professor from the ECE department said, “It is an insult to us and our evaluation, as it means nothing because the students can get pass marks somehow.”

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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