TAMIL NADU

Valuation discrepancy forces varsity to revise TNPCEE toppers list

CHENNAI May 22. With the Anna University revising marks of the Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examinations 2003 after students, parents and teachers pointed out to a discrepancy in valuation, the entire list of top rankers has changed.

Now, C. Karthik of Tirunelveli (TNPCEE Reg. No.9111416) has emerged the top ranker as far as the ``engineering stream' is concerned. His marks are 49.16 in Physical Sciences and 50 in Mathematics.

According to a university spokesman, seven new candidates now find the top slot in the `medicine group' with centum. R. Balaji of Chennai (No 1533547); E. Parvathavardhini of Coimbatore (No.6134871); V. Sri Priya (No.6322071) and S. Jeyakumar (6331217) both from Erode; B.P. Krishna Prasad of Salem (6531047); V. Karthik Anandh (No 9321009) and R. Divakar (9321010) both from Tuticorin.

After the re-evaluation, the university said, 33 persons had secured centum in the `Physical Sciences' subject, instead of the original figure of six. There are however no changes in the Mathematics and Biology papers.

The results were originally published on May 3 and the key answers prepared by expert members were released on the university web site later. Immediately, the students and parents pointed to a discrepancy in the key answers used for valuation of the TNPCEE answer sheets.

So, the university asked an expert committee to go into the matter in detail and based on the panel's recommendations, the university announced that there was a discrepancy or ``mismatch'' in the Physical Sciences paper. It pertained to a question where the correct answer was `Choice C' among the four possible statements. The original key stated that the correct answer was `Choice D'. So the candidates who answered right got no marks and hence lower marks. And those who ticked the Choice D (emerged finally as wrong) got higher marks.

The revaluation and change of marks may have provided relief to those who raised the complaint, but many academics wonder as to how the system could have gone wrong, leading to unnecessary hassles for the students and the university.

A retired university teacher and now working in a self-financing college, notes that with each year the intensity of the competition was increasing. At the same time, examiners everywhere were under pressure to release the results early.

If such discrepancy creeps in even in one question, then the results of scores of thousands of students alter dramatically. It could mean a lot to a student's career. Keeping this in mind, the university should continue to strengthen its system of ``checks and balances'', using both technology and expert input.

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