Published: 09th December 2021
Karnataka: Student protests against KSLU rage on in Bengaluru, Hubballi
The students have been protesting and filing cases, asking for KSLU to switch to conducting exams online
Around 250 law students gathered on Thursday, December 9, at Maurya Circle to protest against Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) continuing pen-and-paper tests despite objections. In Hubballi, nearly thousands of students have been protesting for the last four days, with many of the students undertaking a hunger strike and one student hospitalised.
The students had been protesting and filing cases, asking for KSLU to switch to conducting exams online because of concerns about arbitrary scoring of their tests. “Our previous semester's results have been released in a very unfair manner, many of the students still haven’t gotten their results. They’re adamant to conduct the examinations offline since it’ll fetch them a lot of money with re-evaluation scams,” Rithvik Balanagraj, a student, told TNIE. Many of the students were in agreement as it was apparently common practice in KSLU-run colleges to arbitrarily mark students so that they would have to pay to get their papers re-evaluated.
Some students were yet to get their results from the previous semester, with the university claiming clerical errors like failure to put the names or registration numbers on the papers. “Invigilators check our papers three times. If that’s truly the case, then the invigilators should be fired for not doing their jobs, they arbitrarily reduce theory marks, sometimes subjects aren’t even displayed,” said George Thomas, another student at the protest.
“We don’t receive our answer sheets once we’re marked, so we have no proof that we’ve been improperly marked. At least with online examinations, we have a copy of our answer sheets, so we can definitively prove that we’ve purposely been undermarked and forced to send our papers for re-evaluation,” said another student who wished to remain anonymous. Many of the students who are known toppers failed in multiple subjects and, upon re-evaluation, had their marks reinstated. “It’s happened to me a few times, where I send in the subjects I’ve failed in for re-evaluation and it comes back with 25 marks added, do they expect us to pay for our marks? I can afford it, but what about students that are already struggling financially?" asked another student.
“No matter who you are, even if you’re Einstein, you’d never have the confidence to know whether you’ll pass or fail, it’s completely dependent on your luck, that’s how they score us,” said Balanagraj. He also said that the students had not been made aware of any scheme of evaluation, despite filing an RTI. The students had to pay around Rs 500 every time they needed a paper re-evaluated and some had to do it multiple times, with their scores changing every time.
The students had faced several other issues as well, including being a semester behind due to poor implementation of on-line classes. Many students were not able to attend online classes due to lack of access and classes themselves weren’t effective as portions weren’t completed on time. Furthermore, due to the university making examination and timetable announcements late, students from other states had to suffer being evicted due to the uncertainty of when they will have to leave the state. Multiple cases are still on-going against KSLU.