Students of Delhi University (DU) are going to file an RTI (Right to Information) application on Tuesday, demanding the names of officials to be held responsible if an ordinance regarding internal assessment is not implemented by colleges.
According to DU's ordinance on internal assessment, teachers are supposed to give assignments or projects as part of internal assessment. As reported by the Hindustan Times on December 15, students claimed that teachers take class tests in lieu of projects to save themselves the task of checking papers and returning them to students, in a clear violation of the ordinance.
The RTI is also going ask certain "uncomfortable questions" about the university's monitoring mechanism regarding internals, they said.
Youth Task Force, the students' forum that is going to file the RTI application, initiated a signature campaign on Monday against the issue terming the class tests "illegal".
Students from the forum posted themselves at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station early in the Morning with a huge banner saying "DU says written assignments, then why tests?"
Members approached fellow students and curious passersby to explain
the issue with a copy of the DU ordinance in hand. By the end of a three-hour outing, they were able to collect around 100 signatures on the banner.
"We wanted people to know the issue. Seeing the writing on the banner, several students approached us for more information. The right information is the key to strengthening the campaign," said Erut Narain, a second-year student of Dayal Singh College.
To get the issue highlighted more, the group has decided to hang the banners at various college fests and functions. "We will post ourselves at the fests and collect signatures. This is an issue that affects every student," said Neelima, a first-year student of Hindu College and member of the forum.
Students said that eventually they would take up the case with competent authorities to get the system of "needless class tests" abolished. "We already have a House Examination. Therefore, any other class test is not only illegal but needless as well," said Apeksha, a student of Miranda House and member of YTF.
EVER TRIED to find out how colleges in Delhi University conduct the internal assessment of their students? After Hindustan Times reported how several DU colleges were holding class tests instead of asking students to write assignments, a students' group called the Youth Task Force moved the Right to Information (RTI) Act, asking some basic questions. But instead of providing a direct reply, DU simply handed over a photocopy of the internal assessment ordinance.
"This has been happening to many of us. Students in many colleges are being asked to write tests in lieu of assignments, which is basically in contravention of the DU ordinance on internal assessment that specifically allocates 10 per cent marks for assignments, 10 per cent for home exams and 5 per cent for attendance.
When we asked DU to tell us how many colleges were holding tests instead of handing out assignments, the university had no answer. They just gave us a photocopy of the ordinance, instead of answering our queries," said Aditya N.
Prasad, a student of Hans Raj College. Prasad is a member of the Youth Task Force.
Hindustan Times has seen a copy of the reply. The group had approached the university with some basic queries like if teachers were allowed to conduct tests instead of assignments for internal assessment, how many colleges allowed tests in lieu of assignments and if there was a monitoring committee for internal assessment.
"We had asked for the names and designations of such members if a committee existed. And also the names of persons responsible for implementation of the internal assessment rules.
But DU failed to provide us with any information," said Saurabh Sharma, a member of the group. The university has also been mum on issues like departmental action against those who failed to implement the internal assessment rule.
"The university has also failed to mention what action it plans to take to correct the discrepancy in the implementation of the policy," said Sharma. The group has decided to forward its complaint to the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
"We are not satisfied with the DU Public Information Officer's reply and we are filing a complaint with the CIC for denial of information," said Prasad.
New Delhi, March 6 Unhappy over the trend of class tests replacing written assignments, as dictated by Delhi University for internal assessment, a group of students have decided to seek answers through RTI.
In the coming week, around five students will file RTI applications in SRCC, Miranda House, Hindu College, Hansraj College, Kirori Mal College and St Stephen’s College to enquire whether these colleges check the implementation of internal assessment or not.
This move comes after Erut Narain, a student of Delhi University, filed an RTI application in February concerning the implementation of internal assessment. On Wednesday, he received a reply containing a two-page photocopy of the ordinance related to internal assessment. “It is clear from the reply that there are no standard procedures for making sure the ordinance is followed at the university level. We will now check with individual colleges to find out what they do to maintain this rule,” he said.
According to DU ordinances, five marks are allotted for written assignments.
Ratan Lal, a history teacher in Hindu College, said that at present, internal assessment is at the mercy of individual teachers and blames the university for it. “While coming up with new ideas the university does not take into consideration implementation. There is no monitoring committee to check violations, so obviously teachers will take tests,” he said.
According to a student of Kirori Mal College, with the exam season starting in April, teachers are in a hurry to meet deadlines for submitting internal assessment marks. So they are increasingly taking tests in lieu of written assignments. While earlier she used to give one test a month, in the last three weeks she has already appeared for six tests for different subjects.
“With written tests, if students are unable to prepare, their entire score comes tumbling down. Written assignments are always better as they test your ability and not memorising skills,” she said.
NEW DELHI: Coming to the rescue of a student
who had to run pillar to post to find out the procedural details about his internal assessment in college, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the Delhi University (DU) to publish information to facilitate the process of accessing information.
The CIC has put DU on the spot for not implementing section 4 of the Right to Information Act (RTI), which requires any authority to provide all the information in the form of brochure so as to ensure transparent working of the body.
When DU student Aditya Prasad could not find information about the internal assessment system in his college, he filed an RTI application seeking information on the designated PIOs and about the non-implementation of the Section 4 in November 2007.
Information commissioner O P Kejriwal took note of the fact that affiliated colleges and the varsity itself have not yet been able to accomplish what should have been done within 120 days of enactment of the RTI Act.
The CIC has ordered DU to update all of its online manuals, publish copies for public reference and make sure that all the colleges do the same by November 14.
Speaking about the issue, Aditya Prasad said, "We had filed similar applications with Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and their response to the same was satisfactory, but DU's response was vague.''
"We are going to inspect the development after a week and if the university has still not implemented the rules then we will again act,'' he added.
However, reacting to the order, a DU official said, "This is quite subjective. We do not think the information provided is incomplete. We will, however, have to update the manuals as per CIC's order and ensure that the colleges comply as well.''
When Delhi University (DU) undergraduate student Aditya N. Prasad looked at his BA (Honours) History results, he was in for a surprise.
He had failed to make the minimum 50 per cent aggregate marks that were required for admission into the Campus Law Centre.
“I was quite sure that I would clear the minimum marks, but I later found that my internal assessment marks were not included in the final assessment,” he said.
After running around DU offices, Prasad filed a writ petition in court demanding the cancellation of his admission to Campus Law Centre be stayed and his internal assessment marks be looked into. The matter is pending in court with the next hearing on November 24.
Prasad, however, wasn’t the only one complaining.
An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Josh, an NGO, has revealed that no less than 751 complaints were received by the university from individual students and leading colleges like Miranda House, IP College, KMC, JMC and Sri Venkateswara College. The principals of these colleges had complained that internal assessment marks of their brightest students had been reduced arbitrarily. Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental could not be reached for comments.
Internal assessments allow a certain number of marks for regular attendance, assignments turned in and for attending extra-curricular activities.
The Delhi University, however, moderates these marks to apparently ensure that no college gives its students inflated marks.
The university calculates the average marks scored by students on account of internal assessment across its 85 colleges and then uses it as a marker to reduce or increase a student’s marks.
Varsity to display details of internal assessment procedure
Internal assessment at Delhi University colleges has always been a contentious issue, with charges of corruption, inconsistency and goof-ups doing the rounds. All that could soon change.
During your visits to the university campus, you must have seen several posters warning students of the consequences of smoking or ragging. Valuable, no doubt. But soon signboards at various colleges will display relevant information and contact details of officials concerned for information on internal assessment scores.
The CIC has asked colleges to put up signboards displaying email id of the
dean and contact details of the concerned person
The university acted on the directions of the Central Information Commission (CIC) after a complaint filed by a DU student Aditya Prasad, on the lack of access to information on rules and contents of the ordinance on internal assessment scores.
Professor HC Pokhriyal, Dean (examinations) said, "We have received the CIC directive and are acting accordingly. Most of the students may not be aware about the internal assessment. Now with this, things will be clearer in the minds of all the students. We have directed the colleges to implement the directive as soon as possible."
According to the CIC directive, all the undergraduate colleges, all post-graduate departments, the office of the Dean (examination), will have 4 feet by 10 feet signboards displaying all relevant information. The boards would be put up near window counters dealing with students and at all central libraries of the university. The billboards will carry the email id of the dean and contact details of the concerned person.
The varsity was also directed to provide a copy of the ordinance to students at the college libraries. The university needs to submit a report on the necessary action taken by April 16. Rakesh Sharma, a second year student of Ramjas College, said, "Students often have a complaint regarding the marks they receive in their internal assessments. Most of the time there is a feeling that teachers are biased. This move will at least help students know about the entire process of awarding marks in the internal exams."
Earlier, an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Josh, an NGO, revealed that no less than 751 complaints were received by the university from individual students and leading colleges like Miranda House, IP College, KMC, JMC and Sri Venkateswara College. <table class="ae_noborder" style="width: 400px; height: 80px;" width="242" bgcolor="#cccccc" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr bgcolor="#cc0000"> <td>Clearing the air</td></tr> <tr> <td> DU Ordinance (VIII-E) on Internal Assessment: Internal assessment marks shall be shown separately in the mark sheet issued by the University and these marks shall be added to the annual/semester examination marks for determining the division of the student. Twenty five per cent of the maximum marks in each paper in undergraduate courses shall be assigned for internal assessment and the remaining 75 per cent for the annual/semester university examination. Internal assessments allow a certain number of marks for regular attendance, assignments turned in and for attending extra-curricular activities. The marks are awarded by teachers in January every year.