R. Ravikanth Reddy
APSCHE has appointed a panel to look into introduction of negative marking
Officials feel the concept does not make senseThe qualifying mark is cut to fill vacant seats
HYDERABAD: Students taking the Engineering Agriculture and Medical Entrance Test (EAMCET) this year can heave a sigh of relief what with the Government contemplating to remove the minimum pass mark and give ranks to all the candidates taking the test.
The A.P. State Council of Higher Education has appointed a committee consisting of professors R. Kotaiah, D.N. Reddy, Subba Reddy and APSCHE Secretary M.D. Christopher that will also look into the introduction of negative marking.
The mood of the officials indicates that continuing with the minimum prescribed marks makes no sense when admissions are made on merit basis and top rankers have the advantage of choosing first.
The Government has also been reducing the qualifying mark every year to fill vacant seats in engineering courses.
Academics argue that when there is no cut-off mark for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes why should it be a barrier for other sections, more so when seats are going vacant.
On the other hand, there is a strong indication of introducing negative marks though the quantum has not been decided.
Officials argue negative marks will make a difference for the top-end candidates rather than those in the middle or lower level. Admissions into university colleges from private colleges are differentiated by just one mark. The luck part among the top candidates can be eliminated with negative marks and those marking their choice with conviction would get to benefit from it.
A study done by the APSCHE on last year's statistics with negative marking revealed that the number of candidates losing marks was not significant. But among top scorers the pattern was different. Negative marking in EAMCET was withdrawn in 1997 after criticism that those who score less than zero were getting admissions in professional courses.
But academics now feel that injustice is being done to top candidates due to guesses. Moreover, all top examinations like CAT, IIT or AIEEE have negative scores. Even UPSC has decided on negative marks from this year.