Letter to the Editor

Exams and Unfair Means

While going through the write-up "Unfair means at exams" by Ms Devinder Bir Kaur (Sunday Reading, April 15), I could not believe my eyes when I read what the Vice-Chancellor and others of Panjab University had to say.  One has only to pay a visit to nay examination center to find out the truth for himself.  Even if one sees nothing else, the whole building is likely to be found littered with slops discarded by candidates after their use in the examinations.

Being a teacher at different levels for the past 10 years or so, I can say with confidence that copying has increased, and to alarming proportions, during the last few years.  I remember as a college student some 15 years ago few dared to copy and if caught, they were severely punished.  No one had even heard of mass copying in those days, at least not in Punjab.  But now mass copying at examinations has become a rule rather than an exception.

The use of unfair means is on the rise mostly because of the involvement of all concerned, from top to bottom, in the process of examinations.   Even the police personnel posted at the examination center are more often then not involved in allowing copying.  While copying in the written examinations is still done in hiding, help is given most liberally to almost all candidates in practical examinations or viva voce tests.

To substantiate my claim, I would like to know from the university authorities how many students were declared failed in the practical examinations, say in the last five years.  The answer is bound to confirm the worst fears of anyone.

-Anil Sarwal
in The Tribune