Last year, Anand RSV, a student from a college affiliated to Anna University sat down to write his Mathematics II exam in the second year of his engineering course. He came out of the hall confident about his performance and was quite taken aback when the results came out. Anand had received a zero in his Mathematics paper and he immediately sought revaluation.
But here is the bigger shock. Soon after he applied, he got his results again and this time, the 19-year-old had gone from receiving a zero on the paper to passing it. Which meant that the evaluator had given him an additional 40 marks for the same paper in which the University had failed him. His family mulled taking the matter to court but decided that they did not want it to affect the student's life.
"The University purposely fails students so that they are forced to send in their papers for revaluation because each paper means an additional income of Rs.750 for them. Playing with students' lives and pushing them into this desperate situation is just another way for them to make money," alleges Karthik, Anand's brother, an engineering graduate himself.
This allegation comes at a time when the University is already entangled in a paper-chasing scam connected with revaluation. A large number of students reportedly paid money to have their scores enhanced during revaluation of their answer scripts. The New Indian Express reports that the students paid Rs 10, 000 each for the excess marks.
"The correction process is not transparent and there is no clarity on how these answer papers are graded. It is not just my brother but lakhs of students who are put through this trauma every year. They are not involved in this bribing case but they are paying money despite doing well in their subjects," he adds.
Other students that TNM spoke to were of the same view and alleged that giving papers for re-evaluation was common practice.
Close to 600 engineering colleges are affiliated to this University and over six lakh students study in these institutions. The University collects Rs 300 to provide photocopies of answer sheets. Students are then expected to consult their professor on whether they will do better if the paper is revaluated. Following this, they pay Rs 400 for the revaluation and Rs 50 for the DD. In response to an RTI application filed by onlineRTI.com, Anna University had said in 2016 that it had collected Rs 28.82 crore for providing photocopies of answer sheets and Rs 46.65 crore for revaluation since 2011. The amount earned through providing photocopies increased from Rs 68.04 lakh in 2011 to Rs.7.59 crore in 2015.
In 2017 alone, 3,02,380 students applied for revaluation. Of this, 73,733 passed and about 16,636 allegedly got enhanced marks. The University would have collected approximately Rs. 22.67 crore merely in August, simply by charging for photocopies and the correction.
For several years now, students have been demanding that their money be returned if it is found that the original examiner had wrongly marked the paper. But the University has failed to agree to this despite growing revenues due to revaluation.