Gone are the days of carrying your talismanic pen along with other lucky writing materials and the jazzy wristwatch to the examination hall. The University Grants Commission (UGC), in its National Eligibility Test (NET) which will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on December 27, has introduced a new norm that candidates need not carry a pen/pencil; instead it will provide a ballpoint pen to all the candidates in the examination hall. The UGC introduced the new norm through a notification on September 30, as part of curbing malpractices.
The notification stated that all the examination halls will have a wall clock, hence candidates are not allowed to wear watch in the examination hall. The notification has strictly prohibited use of pencil. If any candidate uses pencil for darkening the answer sheet, his/her answer sheet will be rejected.
Sophy Joseph, Assistant Professor at the National Law University, New Delhi, said that any move to wipe out exam malpractices is appreciable. “The new experiments are welcome in the context of increasing scams in high level examinations. However, it should take care of diverse needs of the different category of candidates. Along with these processes, the Government should be involved in reshaping the UGC exam rather than keeping it at the level of ‘memory test’,Sophy Joseph pointed out. She further stated that the notification acknowledges the failure of present mechanisms in arresting the malpractices during the UGC exams.
A UGC official pointed out that the CBSE is conducting the NET from this year on behalf of UGC. The CBSE will conduct NET in 83 subjects at 88 cities. Several restrictions were imposed in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict scrapping the All India Pre-Medical Test conducted by CBSE.
K T Chandramohanan, Head of the Department of Botany, Government Brennen college, Thalassery, said that the new move may be in the wake of malpractice by students in the Medical Entrance Exams.