Hold re-exam

Hold re-exam

The withholding of the results of this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), conducted by the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), is, to put it simply, an abominable blunder.

Hours after announcing the results close to midnight of May 31, the authorities decided to hold them back citing ‘technical glitches’ putting the career of thousands of students in jeopardy. Many shocked candidates not only noted inconsistency in their marks but also were taken aback by a staggering cut-off and absence of a merit list. It was then that GNLU found that there had been a ‘mismatch’ between roll numbers and Optical Marks Recognition (OMRs) sheets which led to the errors in the announced results.

With this glaring howler, it is obvious that the there was lack of understanding of the technology of the barcode stickers and that the invigilators had not been fully trained in handling the system. In some cases, as reports have suggested, the invigilators were told about this system just an hour before the examination was to start, which highlights lack of adequate preparation in handling new way of matching the answer sheets and the details of the student who wrote the test. This method may have been intended for integrity in the selection process but what prevented the authorities from adequately preparing all concerned for the same?

 When there is lack of clarity, questions about the purity of the admission process would naturally be raised. It goes without saying that the institution given the responsibility of conducting the test must ensure that it is done smoothly and students are not put to needless trouble.

Ironically, this is not the first time that the CLAT has landed in controversy. Since CLAT was introduced to centralise the admission process in 2008, following a PIL filed by a student, the current mess is the fourth such indicating lack of efficiency in holding the all-India examination. In 2009, the question paper was leaked leading to postponement of the test.

 In 2011, some question papers had a few answers marked in them. In 2012, the preference list that was uploaded was incorrect and had to be redone. After the current mix-up, the GNLU has not thrown light as to how many OMRs have been mismatched and which are the CLAT centres where these discrepancies took place. GNLU will do well to hold a re-examination to resolve the issue satisfactorily and do justice to all the candidates.