Replicated questions land varsities in a spot

Probe ordered into lapses in Kerala, Kannur, Calicut varsities

April 23, 2022 08:41 pm | Updated 08:41 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Kerala, Kannur, and Calicut universities have come under fire for replicating previous year’s question papers, leading to cancellation of examinations.

While Kannur University cancelled two third-semester B.Sc. Psychology examinations a day ago, Kerala University suffered a similar ignominy when it had to nullify an examination common for sixth-semester B.A. English Language and Literature and B.A. English and Communicative English held on April 4.

Following the cancellation of the examination, Kerala University conducted a re-examination on Friday without a hitch.

While Kannur University is yet to announce the re-exam schedule, Vice Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran appointed a two-member inquiry committee comprising finance officer Sivappu P. and Syndicate member P. Mahesh Kumar. The panel will submit its report within April 26.

While reports have emerged that question papers of certain other examinations too bore stark similarity with those given in the recent past, the university is mulling blacklisting question paper setters to prevent such lapses.

Calicut University also recently cancelled a common examination of second-semester BA, B.Sc. and allied programmes and announced that a re-examination would be held on Monday. The university has sought an explanation from the teacher who prepared the question paper.

In the case of Kerala University, the common paper on ‘Methodology and Perspectives of Humanities’ contained similar questions included in the question paper distributed for an exam in March 2021. While the questions and pattern were the same, only their order was rearranged.

The university, which cancelled the examination, blamed the question paper setter for the fiasco. Sources said question papers were usually prepared by teachers of other universities chosen from a panel created by the respective Board of Studies.

“For reasons unknown, the teacher entrusted with the task this year chose to replicate previously asked questions. The folly could not be prevented before the examination as the question paper bundles remained sealed until the particular day to ensure confidentiality. Nonetheless, an explanation has been sought from the teacher,” an official said.

The university is yet to decide on the course of action. It also remains to be seen if it will recover the financial loss suffered on account of conducting the re-examination.

The Save University Campaign Committee has called for the Governor’s intervention in reviewing the examination process. In a letter, chairman R.S. Sasikumar and secretary M. Shajirkhan blamed the Boards of Studies for the lapses.

The boards appointed on political considerations have prepared panels of examiners by excluding experienced teachers, they alleged and demanded action against the chairpersons and board members.

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