Several students in post graduation were failed by Mathematics Department in their semester examination leading to protest. Students began an indefinite hunger strike in protest on 6th March and marched to the VC’s office at Gate No. 1 where police personnel treated them with brutality and high-handedness. Health of a student, Ravindra, who was on hunger strike, started deteriorating rapidly. On 14th March, the hunger strike was stopped by intervention of police personnel and detention of students.
Protestors claimed in a press conference that the students enrolled in Masters courses in DU were being treated to unjust and unfair evaluation. This semester, 35 out of 39 students had failed in a particular paper and 150 out of 300 students had failed overall. Further digging revealed that 80% of students are not able to complete their course in the prescribed duration of two years. This is not limited to just one department.
While the protest was going on by students of Maths Department, another mass failure occurred in the physics department of Delhi University. On 7th March, result of physics department was declared in which 262 out of 279 first-years have failed at least in one subject. Students of Physics department have joined the ongoing protests.
Many student organizations have called the mass failure a foul play to obtain money in the name of rechecking.
The DU administration has now sent show cause notices to the parents of at least 4 students alleging that they are “causing inconvenience and disruption” in the university and threatening disciplinary action.
However, a public meeting has been called by the protestors today in at arts faculty to discuss the issue and protest against mass failing.
But we need to understand why so many students are getting failed in Delhi University. The entrance procedure is in such a way that a person cracking entrance is someone who has a command over their subject.
Apart from regular courses, School of Open Learning, DU and Non-Collegiate for Women faces mass failing every year in at least one subject. The failure rate in NCWEB is as high as 97%. DU monetizes on such failures when it comes to re-evaluation or re-checking. The charges for rechecking are 750/subject and 1000/subject for re- evaluation, many students who couldn’t afford to get their paper checked again prepare to reappear. According to information provided by the University, it earned Rs 3 crore 18 lakh 91 thousand 310 rupees over a period of 3 academic years by rechecking and re-evaluation. Students face tremendous pressure when it comes to failing in subject, neither could they apply for further studies nor they could study their present subjects peacefully. Many of them cannot re-appear too.
One can look further and notice how the entire process is humiliating and the behavior of university’s administration when it comes to solve issues of the student community. If HEFA and 30-70 model comes to departments which are already dysfunctional when it comes to processes like checking exam papers then it will only lead to further profit making and students will be the worst sufferers.